Festive Opening Bridge of Noorderpark, Amsterdam
On Sunday 03 Sep 2017, was the festive opening of West 8’s new bridge of Noorderpark. The 150m long bridge is the first of two bridges to connect the Volewijkspark with the Florapark, combining both into one Noorderpark. It also provides for a direct bicycle connection between the Vliegenbos and the Noorderparkbad swimming pool, thus linking the eastern and western parts of Amsterdam Noord.
The main parts of the bridge were prefabricated in parts early this year in North Holland. In July, these parts were shipped to location and lifted into place by crane on a floating pontoon. The biggest challenge in this respect was the placement of the 34m long bridge section spanning across the Noordhollandsch Kanaal. The figurative form of the bearers characterizes the bridge design by West 8. They have already been nicknamed the ballet dancers, because of their ornate form.
The official opening of the bridge yesterday at noon also marked the opening of Noorderpark Festival this year. This is an annual cultural festival organized by resident groups in the surrounding areas in Amsterdam-Noord, to celebrate cultural diversity and an inclusive society. Events started with a festive parade with decorated bikes, skateboarders and cyclists departing from the Noorderparkbad. The party slowly progressed along the new pathway onto the new bridge where a large audience had gathered. Coby van Berkum, District Chairman of the Municipality of Amsterdam-Noord, officially opened the bridge and this ceremony was followed by an opera piece by opera singer Lotte Bovi, who performed, on a ‘floating dress’ on the Noordhollandsch Kanaal, under the bridge. The Noorderpark was filled with festive programs, including circus, music, workshops, pop-up food trucks, relaxation and partying.
West 8’s intention to create the new central park in Amsterdam-North, that serves as leisure and meeting place for residents of Amsterdam at large, has come to vibrant fruition this Sunday.
In its competition winning entry in 2003, West 8 proposed to link three separate park areas, which were separated from each other by a main road & railway, and a wide canal. The purpose is to form a cohesive green zone in Amsterdam-North: the Noorderpark. After winning the design competition, West 8 has realized the refurbishment of the Volewijk Oost part of the Park. This included a large section of park, a shallow pool area, a gate structure, two viaducts across the main road & rail line and an additional bicycle route, also crossing the road. In 2015 the Noorderparkbad (award winning public swimming pool by Architecten Cie) in the Flora Park side of the Noorderpark was completed.
Now, after 14 years of development, with the completion of one of the two new bridges across the Noordhollandsch Kanaal and 2 viaducts already in use, the new central park track, loops in an almost complete cohesive link. With the municipality of Amsterdam, West 8 will continue to work towards the implementation of other parts of the park.
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Jubilee Gardens in London (UK), Expo \’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH) and Miami Beach SoundScape Park (US). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and Yongsan Park in Seoul (KR).
Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB), the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.