Melkwegbridge: A Location with Identity

NEXT Architects

Architects: NEXT Architects
Location: Purmerend, The Netherlands
Year: 2013
Photography: Jeroen Musch and Andras Schuh

The Melkwegbridge is a location with an identity of its own. Extending over the Noordhollandsch Canal, it connects the historical city center of Purmerend with the Weidevenne neighborhood. In order to comply with the gradient requirements for bicycle and wheelchair traffic, a bridge must be at least 100 meters long.

For this reason, the bridge separates bicycle and wheelchair traffic from pedestrian traffic. The bicycle bridge meanders over the water, which makes it long enough to limit the gradient.

At the same time, the elevated pedestrian archway – an extension of the historical Melkweg – offers an extensive view of Purmerend’s old town center. This archway, which is over 12 metres long, provides a panoramic view; here, you can feel the old connect with the new.

The various sections of the bridge merge seamlessly into each other, forming a cohesive whole. The bridge is more than just the fastest way across the canal; it is also a destination and an attraction in its own right.

This project is part of the Bicycle Architecture Biennale 2019/20
Melkwegbridge is the winner of the Iconic Awards 2014 and the 2014 National Steel Prize; it also received special mention at the BNA Building of the Year awards 2013.