Bascule Bridge & Bridgemaster's House


Purmerend, Netherlands, 1995–1996

An intense mixture of technique and infrastructure has resulted in a bridge consisting of three individual decks, which open and close asynchronously, imitating the movement of playing fingers. In the flat polder landscape, the bridge links a new housing development to the main road. The longitudinal separation of the bridge deck into two pedestrian and cycle routes and one road for cars enhances traffic safety. The finger-like arrangement also results in extra mooring space for pleasure boats. A cycle path runs below the bridge, along the waterfront.
The bridge elements are controlled from the bridge master’s house, a small edifice that is perched 8m above the water level. Perforated steel plates, which are applied to the concrete core of the building, make it semi-transparent.


Client: Municipality of Purmerend
Location: Purmerend, Netherlands
Building area: Gross floor surface: 90 m², Volume: 300 m³
Programme: Bascule bridge and bridge master’s house
Status/phase: Realized 1998
Photos: Christian Richters


Ben van Berkel with Freek Loos, Ger Gijzen and Sibo de Man, John Rebel,Stefan Böwer, Stefan Lungmuss

Management: IBA, Amsterdam
Engineering: IBA, Amsterdam