A Co-Financed Bridge Generates New Impulses

© Annette Behrens

Twen­ty years ago, the archi­tec­ture office ZUS moved into an anony­mous Schieblock in Rot­ter­dam as an anti-squat­ter. At that time, how­ev­er, the areas sur­round­ing this block were cut up and sep­a­rat­ed by roads and rail­way lines. This is how the idea of a bridge was born. The hope: new impuls­es and uses for emp­ty build­ings and urban waste­lands. Inter­est­ing­ly, the bridge brought peo­ple togeth­er even before it exist­ed. Via an inter­net plat­form, peo­ple were able to pur­chase wood­en plank­ing for the future bridge, which was ful­ly opened in 2015. Oth­er aspects of the project were strong­ly sup­port­ed by the munic­i­pal­i­ty of Rot­ter­dam: Work and office space, restau­rants, cafés, and green spaces. Since then, there has been a lot of talk about the quarter’s new vital­i­ty but also about the con­se­quences of upgrad­ing and exclusivity.




Zones Urbaines Sen­si­ble (ZUS), ini­tia­tive, plan­ning, archi­tec­ture; approx. 8,000 crowd­fund­ing par­tic­i­pants, co-financ­ing; Rot­ter­dam City Coun­cil, co-financ­ing and organization


Since 2011


Rot­ter­dam, Netherlands

The entire pedes­tri­an bridge is paint­ed in sig­nal yel­low, for Kris­t­ian Kore­man of ZUS the col­or of a tem­po­rary bridge. But this is no longer the bridge—here in the Schiekade cross­ing. Once emp­ty office build­ings like the Schieblock are now filled with uses: Archi­tec­tur­al firms, cre­ative indus­tries, social uses and a depart­ment store in which Rot­ter­dam prod­ucts are sold have set­tled here. © Ossip van Duivenbode
The first con­struc­tion phase of the Luchtsin­gel was financed by the sale of indi­vid­ual wood­en slats, which were offered for sale for 25 Euros each. 17,000 boards were sold in this way. © Ossip van Duivenbode
Luchtsin­gel (Luft­gracht) is the name of a 390-meter-long wood­en bridge that the ini­tia­tors describe as a cat­a­lyst for eco­nom­ic growth—not least because it con­nects dis­tricts in the north of Rot­ter­dam that were pre­vi­ous­ly sep­a­rat­ed by rail­road tracks with the city cen­ter. Archi­tect Elma van Box­el and archi­tect Kris­t­ian Kore­man from the Zones Urbaines Sen­si­bles (ZUS) office ini­ti­at­ed a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign in 2012 to raise funds for the bridge. © Ossip van Duivenbode
© Ossip van Duivenbode