2013 - 2017
2013 - 2017
In the Victor Hugo park a bicycle bridge, the Dafne Schippersbrug, has been integrated in a unique way with a school building and park. To achieve this, Bureau B+B worked together with the architects of the individual components, so that all the elements could be joined into one unified landscape. Cyclists cross the Amsterdam Rhine Canal via a wide bicycle loop on top of the school. The safely enclosed schoolyard is oriented towards the park: a continuous green space in which all the new elements have been carefully incorporated.
NEXT architects, Rudy Uytenhaak Architecten, ARUP, RODOR
The new bicycle bridge over the Amsterdam Rhine Canal connects the Leidsche Rijn area to the city centre of Utrecht. In order not to obstruct shipping, the bridge rises to a height of seven meters. This leaves plenty of space under the bridge for a community school. The building, the bridge and the surrounding Victor Hugo park were designed as one coherent whole. This required an intensive collaboration between the architect, the bridge designer and the landscape architect.
Since the bicycle bridge runs over the roof of the school, it was made possible to surround the building with light and space on all sides. There are no blind facades. The view of the cycling passer-by is not obstructed by the building at any point. With a wide bend, the cyclist is lifted out of the park via a bicycle loop, to be led over the roof of the gymnasium. The route continues through the canopy of trees to a panoramic view of the canal. The braided cables of the bridge form an elegant gateway.
The shape of the school building creates a safe enclosed play area for the children. The wider side of the school closes off the park from the canal. The school and the square are clearly oriented towards the public park zone. Since the building is slightly narrower on the east side under the bridge, a natural main entrance is created here in line with the street. It is a recognizable place for collecting and dropping off children.
In the design, we tried to keep the original park as large as possible. Most of the trees could be retained. The park is a continuous open green space. The new elements have been carefully integrated into the landscape design. The bowl-shaped space within the bicycle loop requires extra attention. The bowl is accessible through an opening under the bridge near the schoolyard. In the bowl there is a sunny sports field. This makes the bowl a characteristic part of the entire site plan.