October 13th, the Colorado Viaduct was opened on the Maasvlakte 2 harbour area in Rotterdam. The Colorado Viaduct links the Maasvlakte and Maasvlakte 2 areas. The viaduct, designed by ZJAZwarts & Jansma Architects is the main crossing of the major traffic axis on the island.
ZJA was initially asked to develop an architectural vision for this crossing. This assignment followed from previous engagements on the Maasvlakte like the Dune Viaducts on the main thoroughfare of this same new port area.
The main reason for 'lifting' the intersection is the separation of the (freight) traffic with local traffic between the ports, customs route and rail traffic.
The Maasvlakte is an industrialized world on the edge between sea and land. In this contrastful and rugged surroundings qualities as functionality , abstraction and lack of scale predominate. The design of the viaduct had to fit this context. ZJA has strived to design a robust yet clear viaduct which is embedded in the landscape. The intersection has a sober and robust materialization in concrete to suit these rugged conditions.
To counterweight the lack of scale of the area it was deliberately designed as a solid mass with a dark concrete shell. This shell is in stark contrast to the 'perforations' carried out in light concrete for the crossing traffic. The prefabricated concrete elements of the shell are carried out with an embossed pattern of nautilus shells.