Architect Laurent Saint-Val proposes a new inhabitable bridge for Amsterdam. Fascinating mix of architecture with its 17th century’s canals registered at UNESCO World Heritage, AMSTERDAM, capital of Netherlands is the largest city of the country with a population of nearly 740 000 inhabitants (1.5 million with the periphery) and the most visited one with more than 3.5 million foreign visitors each year. It’s in the 12th century that the Dutch first settled in this marshy and inhospitable region that would become Amsterdam. 500 years later, during the 17th century, Amsterdam became the center of the world’s economy. Today, the Batavian capital is known worldwide for its openness to the rest of the planet, its tolerance and its bustling cultural life. Adventurer’s city, fishermen’s town, city of excess and extremes ; from a huge mansion to the narrowest house, modern architecture is developing between the historic building’s facades, giving a particular outcome and amazement for tourists.
Due to the small size of the city, all interesting sites are within in a small area, making the visit even more agreeable. This is probably one of the reason why Amsterdam is so popular amongst poetry and architecture lovers. Wherever you walk in Amsterdam, you will notice that all constructions are made of brick. Never the less, it has not always been so, the houses were originally made of wood. Following the devastating fires of 1421 and 1452, it was forbidden to build with wood. In 1669, wooden construction was completely banned and only two examples are left standing.
Undoubtedly, a knowledge and an architecural wealth slumber in the heart of the true Amsterdammers, ready to wake and be materialized in modern projects. It is with a strong motivation and a desire to pay homage to wood that I made the choice to use this modern material, ecological but also traditional and universal throughout centuries ; a material occupying a leading position with its qualities of sustainability, flexibility, adaptation to other materials, efficiency and finaly its esthetics. Wood, a traditional and universal material throughout centuries, has found the past few years a leading place, thanks to ecology. Therefore, every project today and particularly in Amsterdam cannot ignore the use of wood for new structures or ornament. Interior and exterior designs of this bridge are intended descriptive, while highlighting the natural material. Associated with steel and aluminium it gains enormous advantages, since these metals generate extremely light structures, representing a vital aspect regarding the soil’s quality.