WHAT architecture - London

Hybridge Amsterdam

Footbridge with ancillary programme
Scale450 sqm
ClientDienstbinnenstad Amsterdam (Amsterdam Municipality)
Design Year2012


Hybrid/ge is a series of recycled bridges, a ‘collection of connections’ reconfigured to a new host city. Hybrid/ge dismantles contemporary architecture’s pursuit of the iconic. The aesthetic is determined through an assemblage of relocated histories rather than the pursuit of a singular style. Bridges that were once merely spaces of transition will become spaces of occupation.


The problem with an ideas competition is its lack of commercial reality but does it have to be this way? Hybrid/ge’s iconography is drawn from the aesthetic of money and in these recessionary times we need to promote ideas of economic sustainability. None of the assembled bridges are implicitly iconic but their composition can become ‘iconic’: the sum is greater than the parts. To merely pursue an ‘icon’ is futile as this promote visual attraction over social connection  - and Amsterdam has plenty of other passages where one could go for an optic wanderlust.


Step 1: We choose not to just cross the water but to connect two buildings: a popular museum (Hermitage) with one less well-know (Six Beheer) and thus creating new tourism


Step 2: Determine the catchment zone for relocating obsolete European bridges to Amsterdam by carbon footprint calculation


Step 3: Negotiate the price by engaging in ‘bridge brokering’


Step 4: Transport your bridge to site via the existing network of European waterways


Step 5: Emphasise the programme through an intense waterside experience from the suspended café


Step 6: Feed the ducks, board a canal boat…