Architecture

Paleisbrug pedestrian bridge doubles as park in the sky

Paleisbrug pedestrian bridge d...
The Paleisbrug is 250 m (820 ft) long and 10 m (33 ft) wide
The Paleisbrug is 250 m (820 ft) long and 10 m (33 ft) wide
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The Paleisbrug is located in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
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The Paleisbrug is located in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
The Paleisbrug is a raised park, pedestrian bridge and cycle-link
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The Paleisbrug is a raised park, pedestrian bridge and cycle-link
The Paleisbrug provides 2,500 sq m (26 900 sq ft) of park-like space
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The Paleisbrug provides 2,500 sq m (26 900 sq ft) of park-like space
The Paleisbrug is 250 m (820 ft) long and 10 m (33 ft) wide
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The Paleisbrug is 250 m (820 ft) long and 10 m (33 ft) wide
The Paleisbrug rises 6.5 m (21 ft) above a railway line
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The Paleisbrug rises 6.5 m (21 ft) above a railway line
The Paleisbrug is clad in weather-proof steel
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The Paleisbrug is clad in weather-proof steel
The weather-proof steel used for the Paleisbrug should give the bridge a lifespan of over 100 years
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The weather-proof steel used for the Paleisbrug should give the bridge a lifespan of over 100 years
The Paleisbrug was designed to become a destination in itself
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The Paleisbrug was designed to become a destination in itself
The Paleisbrug has four lanes, each 2 m (7 ft) wide, that alternate between flower beds and paving
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The Paleisbrug has four lanes, each 2 m (7 ft) wide, that alternate between flower beds and paving
The Paleisbrug has seating integrated into its design
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The Paleisbrug has seating integrated into its design
The design of the Paleisbrug began in 2008, construction started in 2012 and it was completed earlier this year
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The design of the Paleisbrug began in 2008, construction started in 2012 and it was completed earlier this year
View gallery - 11 images

A new bridge in the Netherlands is designed to do more than get people from A to B. The Paleisbrug, in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, is a raised park, pedestrian bridge and cycle-link all in one. Designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects, the bridge joins the city center with its newly-developed Paleiskwartier district, which is home to the city's court building, university buildings, homes and offices.

Much of the surrounding area is said to remain undeveloped, due to having been flooded as a means of defending the city during the Eighty Year War. The bridge's location had the potential to provide excellent views of this now open, green area known as the Gement and, with this in mind, it was designed to be a destination in itself.

The Paleisbrug is 250 m (820 ft) long and 10 m (33 ft) wide, providing 2,500 sq m (26 900 sq ft) of park-like space for flora, fauna and leisure. There are four lanes in total, each 2 m (7 ft) wide, that alternate between flower beds and paving. Plants, trees, paving, furniture and lighting are integrated into the design using folded sheets of weather-proof steel, in which the bridge is also clad. The plants, benches and paths are lit up by LED lighting at night.

The Paleisbrug has four lanes, each 2 m (7 ft) wide, that alternate between flower beds and paving
The Paleisbrug has four lanes, each 2 m (7 ft) wide, that alternate between flower beds and paving

The plants and shrubs on the bridge are split into three distinct zones. On the city center side of bridge there are low, savannah-like plants and individual trees. Where the bridge crosses the railway, there are low plants to ensure the views of the Gement are not impeded. The planting on the Paleiskwartier side of the bridge is said to have a more forest-like character.

Plants on the bridge are watered using a drip-feed system that detects how much water is required. An overflow pipe, meanwhile, ensures that the plants don't receive too much water.

In order to keep the bridge free of ice during the winter, low-temperature floor-heating is installed. Benthem Crouwel explains that using road salt to clear ice is not an option, as it would kill the plants and affect the materials used. To ensure that the bridge remains sustainable, however, the heating is powered by a solar collector. Heat is collected in the summer and stored in a heat/cold storage unit. Surplus heat collected during the summer is supplied to the surrounding area.

The design of the Paleisbrug began in 2008. Construction started in 2012 and it was completed earlier this year. It has an expected lifespan of over 100 years.

Source: Benthem Crouwel Architects

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