Pedestrian bridge Luchstingel reconnects abandonned area to central Rotterdam
After 3 years of work, the Luchtsingel was finally completed in Rotterdam. The name covers a pedestrian bridge construction that has a much wider scope than a simple infrastructural development. It is a project that tickles urbanistic problems by posing questions and taking initiative in providing possible answers. Local architectural office ZUS intended to reconnect a neglected part of Rotterdam. Once a lively area, the Hofplein district is now a cluster of abandoned office buildings. Its proximity to the city centre makes the desolateness of the era even more painful, but now the traffic of Luchtsingel brings life back to the empty streets.
The project had several stages, the first being ZUS setting up their studio in a cancelled office development, and turning the space into an urban incubator of offices, a bar, a culinary laboratory, a store, and an information centre. To build the bridge connecting the city centre they asked the help of inhabitants, and organised a crowdfunding campaign. Thanks to the 8000 donors, Luchtsingel is the first ever infrastructural project that was almost entirely financed in such way. As a thank you gesture, for their 25 EUR, supporters had their name carved into the wooden boards of the bridge.
The final construct itself is around 400 m long, built from wood, featuring several pathways and a central circular viewing platform with seating. Yellow paint was applied on the boarding and the surrounding streets as well to give a strong visual identity and highlight the path. The main stages are the Pompenburg Park, a former storage area near the railway turned into a public green for outdoor activities, the Dakakker, a rooftop garden for the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, and even honey, and the Hofplein Station Roof Park, the landing site of the bridge hosting events. With Luchtsingel, ZUS demonstrated how the infrastructure of a city can be altered by civil and communal efforts.
Photos: Ossip van Duivenbode, curtesy of ZUS
Read more: Luchtsingel
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