Architektura / občanské stavby

Icon for Amsterdam: a Slow-Living Bridge

Third place and reward of $800 was won by a British team with a project that uses modular solution made of floating containers.

EARCH.CZ , 5. 6. 2012

Approach / Concept

An icon in terms of what it represents as much as what it is, this is a beautiful, efficient and living bridge; it changes over time, rather than being a static symbol. Its simplicity is its beauty, its program full of promise, its users its life.

Designed to have minimal impact on its immediate surroundings, but to reappear at times throughout the city, it fits seamlessly in to the fabric of Amsterdam while being outstanding; recognisable, but unlike any other bridge, it is extra-ordinary. Sustainability is its essence, composed of standard barges, containers, components and materials that are readily available and can be recycled from other uses. Its adaptability, however, allows it to accommodate cutting-edge technology.

Design / Logistics

The slow-living bridge lives on the Amstel and its canals. Between east and west bank it is most flexible at its centre, and north-south it is most fixed along the central axis of the museum; the bridge changes by day and by season.

Priority remains for passing craft; the resident engineers open and close the bridge, while pedestrians, runners and cyclists stop for a break or take another route. The slow-bridge app enables residents and visitors to check the status of the bridge, its various brightly-painted mobile elements (cafe and picnic barges, or the shuttle between the main train station, Hermitage and other institutions), or their bike repair. Ramps, ropes and chains connect barges in an accessible way.

Beyond the Program / Brief

barges and containers allow for the program and extra facilities, including landscaping, market stalls, performance and a lido. The bridge also acts as a pier.

name Slow-Living Bridge

authors David Rosenberg, Tom Steel, Dominic Weil, Olivia Pearson - (Velorose + Heyne Tillett Steel)

country United Kingdom

team type architect / designer / Engineer

placement 3rd place

Judge's report

This project was executed cleverly with light‐hearted humor and a rather risky approach. The Jury could not help but appreciated such a fresh and simple proposition capturing all the elements with an undertone of good and responsible citizenship. The proposal is a rather organic and flexible bridge that grows and shrinks with time, need, weather or specific event. It is the activity over the water that creates the passage ‐ a slow‐living organic passage. The bridge lives and exists, thanks to the way the users approach and use the space, through the identity or activity that is going on around it. This is not just a bridge but, in itself, constitutes a neighbourhood, a place or space constantly changing to meet the needs of daily life in the city. A cleverly executed, graphically presented and dynamic piece of work that essentially found a different way to push beyond the simple idea of "to cross". Bravo! 


is an international architectural competition organiser focused on initiating progressive competitions with a number of cash prizes and publishing the winners.

More info about the [AC-­‐CA] Architectural Competition here.

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