Dafne Schippers Bridge

Integral design
The new bicycle bridge over the Amsterdam Rhine Canal connects the new town Leidsche Rijn with the inner city of Utrecht. Within the new design, the new bridge, the building of the school and the Victor Hugo Park are realized as a coherent unity. All elements are interpreted as an unique part of an integral design, which reach into each other like a coherent puzzle. The bridge, which rises up to 7 meters, makes it possible to fit the school underneath the bridge-construction. Because the bridge builds on top of the roof of the school, every side of the school-building is surrounded by light and space, preventing one side facing blind walls. A wide loop lifts the biker or pedestrian from the park entrance onto the roof of the gym. From there the journey continues through the treetops to a panoramic view. The shape of the building creates a safe and enclosed playground for the children and closes off the park from the canal. In this way the school and the schoolyard are clearly oriented towards the park. A minimum of space transformed into a multifunctional space with a maximum of facilities.

Reconnecting the neighborhood
By integrating the structures into the park, almost the whole park and most of the old tree structure could be spared and at the same time become reorganized as a connecting link between the bridge, the school and the inner city. In this way the coherent design elements overtake a multilayered function within the city structure of Utrecht. Firstly they serve as a reknowned stepping stone for the major amount of pedestrians and cyclists between the city center, the outer parts as well as the town Leidsche Rijn. Secondly the area itself develops a poetic character as a new hub of public space where all generations come together in their usage of the park, the bridge and the school. The new housing structures next to the bridge and the Victor Hugo Park support this development. A forgotten piece of land has been transformed into a new place full of public life.

Congenial cooperation
The shape of the building creates a safe and enclosed playground for the children. The wide side of the school closes of the park from the canal. The school and the schoolyard are clearly oriented towards the park. Because the building is narrower on the east side under the bridge, this is the most natural place for the main entrance. Aligned with the street, it is a visible place to kiss and ride.

  • Location: Victor Hugoplantsoen, Utrecht, Nederland
  • completed: 2013 - 2017
  • Client: Municipality of Utrecht
  • Partners: Next Architects and Rudy Uytenhaak + Partners Architecten

Congenial interdisciplinarity mending the urban fabric

Four spatial structures as one cohesive whole

A connecting stepping stone within the city

A new bridge to reconnect a neighborhood and improve sustainable mobility

Victor Hugoplantsoen Dafne Schippersbrug

Reconnecting and revitalising neighborhoods through an integral design

Bicycle path runs over the school which is located under the bridge

Dafne Shippersbrug

A bridgelanding as schoolyard and public park

Victor Hugoplantsoen Dafne Schippersbrug

The reorganized park serves as a vibrant public space and a place of arrival

The bridge crosses the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal

Victor Hugoplantsoen Dafne Schippersbrug

Path-loop creates an enclosed play area

A bridge only for bicycle and pedestrians

A new public space for everybody

Bridge opening day

Reconnecting the neighborhood through participation

Opening of the new bridge

A bridge only for bicycles and pedestrians

Dafne Shippersbrug

View from the west side of the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal

Victor Hugoplantsoen Dafne Schippersbrug

All elements are designed in a purpose to be conquered by the people

Pedestrians can also enter the area through stairs

The braided cables of the bridge create a slender archway to the new town