Forging a new link

Nick Myall
Friday 17 Jul 2015

The Luchtsingel is the world's first piece of public infrastructure to be accomplished mostly through crowdfunding

Decades after their separation, the 400 metre long pedestrian bridge has reconnected three districts in the heart of Rotterdam.

Named Luchtsingel, which means "air canal", the structure runs through a building and across roads and railways to connect three previously disconnected areas of the city.

The Luchtsingel was initiated and designed by the Rotterdam-based architects ZUS and is the world's first piece of public infrastructure to be accomplished mostly through crowdfunding. Together with the new public spaces, including the Delftsehof, Dakakker, Pompenburg Park, and the Hofplein Station Roof Park, a 'three-dimensional cityscape' has arisen. 

The bright yellow wooden structure is raised above ground by an entire storey, creating an uninterrupted pedestrian pathway that connects the recently renovated Rotterdam Centraal station with the historic Laurenskwartier district.

It also links up a series of individual public realm projects, including a rooftop vegetable garden and a new park.

Initial fundraising came from a crowdfunding campaign. For every €25 (£17) donated, supporters could have their name inscribed onto one of the wooden boards that line the edges of the bridge.

Over 8,000 people signed up to support the campaign financially. The architects were later granted funding to complete the project by the city council.

In 2012, the Luchtsingel plan won the Rotterdam City Initiative. It was then awarded the 2012 Green Building Award, the Berlin Urban Intervention Award in 2013, the 2014 Rotterdam Architecture Award, and was nominated for the Golden Pyramid and the Dutch Construction Award in 2015.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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