[AMSTERDAM] Iconic Pedestrian Bridge

Project ///

The bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.

It is designed for pedestrians and cyclists, rather than vehicular traffic. Footbridges complement the landscape and can be used decoratively to visually link two distinct areas or to signal a transaction.
Footbridges can be both functional and beautiful works of art and sculpture in there own right as seen in some of the most visited countries around world.

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and has a population of approximately 1.5 million. It has been called the “Venice of the North” for its more than one hundred kilometres of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges.
The 17th-century canals located in the heart of the city of Amsterdam were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2010.

The aim of this International competition is to design an Iconic Pedestrian Bridge in the Heart of Amsterdam. The architecture of this new structure should reflect contemporary design tendencies.

The proposal must not only attend to the specific function but the design should also take into consideration the urban insertion and impact geared towards creating a new architectural symbol for an European capital city.
This competition hopes to achieve the following:
_Encourage and reward design excellence between architecture and engineering.
_Research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing an original footbridge.
_To generate the discussion of ideas regarding the functionality of bridges in relation with art and sculpture.
_Encourage the employment of sustainable design in all aspects of the proposal.

This is a single stage Competition with the aim of identifing the most appropriate proposal, which best satisfies the general and specific objectives of the contest.

This is an open international competition hosted by [AC-CA]™ to generate progressive contemporary design ideas. There are no plans for the Iconic Pedestrian Bridge to be built. 

Media Sponsors ///


Schedule ///

_Competition Officially Announced - 17th October 2011

_Start of Competition and Early Bird registration - 30th October to 15th December 2011

_Late Competition Registration - 16th December 2011 to 15th February 2012

_Dead line for Questions  - 31st January 2012

_Closing Date for Submissions  - 29th February 2012

_Jury Evaluation - 05th March - 12th March 2012

_Announcement of Winners and posted on www.ac-ca.org - 15th March 2012


Jury ///

_Tutard Laetitia  – Architect (French)

_Castillo Désiré– Artist / Photograph (Ecuadorian)

_Yusta Garcia Ferran – Engineer / Architect / Lecturer (Spanish)


Prizes ///

Winning participants will receive prizes totaling US$ 5,400 with the distribution as follows:




There will also be 7 honorable mentions


1st Prize, 2nd Prize and 3rd Prize will be published in following magazines as well as on the [AC-CA]™ website:

About:Blank Architecture Magazine (Portugal)

• wettbewerbe-aktuell Magazine (Germany)

• Concept Magazine (Korea)

• Arquitectura Beta Magazine (Spain)

• Earch.cz Architecture Magazine (Czech Republic)

• Designboom Design Magazine (Italia)

e-architect Architecture News (UK)

Future Arquitecturas Architecture Magazine (China)

Greek Architects Architecture Magazine (Greece)


FAQ ///

Can the cafes, administration and bicycles repair centre be on the opposite sides of the foot bridge?
Yes, they can be located anywhere (on the bridge or on both sides).

What are the standards for the elimination of architectural barriers in the Netherlands with regards to disable access as there is no indication of the minimum slope for ramps specified?
You can follow the General European regulation for this competition in term of barrier, ramps and height.

Should the passage for river traffic (ie boats) strictly be designed in the centre of the bridge / river canal channel, or can it be moved closer to the bank? And Is there any fixed channel route in this part of Amstel ?
No, there are no restrictions regarding passage for river traffic (boats) as there is traffic in both directions. However, the middle of the bridge which usually has the highest point of most bridge design make it easy and safe for boats or badges of a certain height to navigation through the Amstel canal.

Is it possible to use a movable bridge system?
Yes, movable bridge system can be used as there are no specified restrictions.

What is the regulation for traffic passage on this part of the Amstel?
Minimum width of navigable waterways passage through the channel are as follows:
- 2.4 to 2.5 metres (7'-10" - 8'-3") for narrow boats
- 4.8 to 5.0 metres  (15'-9" - 16'-5") for broad boats and general canal use
Minimum canal depth of 1.2 metres  (3'-9")

The use of a 1.5 metres water depth gives a greater margin with regards to periods of dredging and low tide. There are only a small percentage of boats using the canals today of more than 0.76 metres (2'-5").

Minimum air draft is 2.0 metres (6'-6") for standard narrow and broad boat canal craft with no cabin roof incidental equipment, i.e. radio and TV aerials, traditional chimneys etc. A minimum of 2.4 metres (7'-9") is a more desirable aim. A 2.6 metre (8'-6") minimum air draft will enable some pontoon mounted dredging equipment to be moved through the opening without demounting equipment or lifting out and transfer around the bridge opening.

The mentioned 15m (fifteen meters) height passage underneath is applicable for general European bridge. Also take into account the many bridges In Amsterdam with low clearance, usually less than 2m (two metres), depending on the water height which varies on low tides.
Amsterdam's canals have a particularly narrow configuration and canal boats can access there. therefore the 15m (fifteen meters), general european bridge specification can be ignored.

What does the phrase "Access must meet the disabled access standards" mean? what exactly is this refering to?  Does the bridge have to be wheelchair accessible?
Yes, it is a requirement for most new public spaces to have disable or wheelchair access.

Do you have information on what the distance is from the surface of the water to ground level on the banks?
The distance between the surface of the water and ground level on either banks keeps changing depending on the tides. We will estimate an allowance of 1m (1 meter).

Can we assume that both banks are at the same level?

Can we assume that pylons/columns/footings are permitted in the canal?

Should any of the facilities such as toilets adhere to disable persons regulation?
Yes, at least one toilet should adhere to the disabled person's regulation.

The site plan shows two dashed lines for the footbridge are these two lines hard boundary lines or could components of the bridge go outside of these dashed lines?
No, the dashed lines are just indicative (approximately where the bridge should be). You can of course go outside these two lines.

Are there any height restrictions?
There are no height restrictions.