Placing Of New Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge ‘The Twist’

Last Wednesday the new pedestrian bicycle bridge ‘The Twist’, designed by West 8 for the City of Vlaardingen, was placed at its final destination at the shores of the Vlaardingse Vaart in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands. The transportation and the lowering onto pilings and notch piers, accurate to a millimeter, was an impressive sight and attracted hundreds of spectators. The iconic bridge will officially open to allow pedestrians to cross the Vlaardingse Vaart in April 2009 and will be a crucial link within the regional bicycle path network.

From 6am The Twist was transported with the help of heavy load transportation wagons to the Vlaardingse Vaart, a few hundred meters away. Then the juggling with the cranes and pontoons started. Finally at 5.30pm the bridge was installed, becoming an expressive sculpture that establishes the moment of ‘crossing’ and capturing the qualities of the immediate landscape.

The bridge was prefabricated on site in a specially erected temporary shed of stacked containers. Its construction comprises 400 steel tubes that were welded together and then galvanized and painted red to create a unique and dynamic structure. The three-dimensional truss of the bridge twists on its horizontal axis. This twisted space frame construction absorbs the user in a continually changing experience of perspective. The rectangular frame at the bridge entrance evolves into a double-height diamond form in the middle. A transparent cathedral of steel becomes a new rest and meeting place along the footpaths and bicycle network.

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