The Vlotwateringbrug designed by NEXT architects in collaboration with LOLA landscape is not an ordinary bicycle and pedestrian bridge. The Vlotwatering is a flight path for various bat species and as such offers a unique opportunity for these mammals to breed and to find shelter.
The design is focused on strengthening existing green and ecological connections where natural values and recreational values complement each other. The bridge forms the entrance to the Poelzone: an elongated area located in the Westland, between ‘s-Gravenzande, Naaldwijk and Monster. Here, a new green recreational connection will be created with environmentally friendly banks and fish-spawning areas.
To make the bridge optimally suitable for bats, it was decided to build a construction in concrete. The mass creates a stable and pleasant climate. In the bridge are slots that are accessible from the bottom. The openings have a rough finish to ensure a firm grip. All this makes the bridge an ideal habitat for bat species. “A textbook example of how a functional object can also serve nature,” says bat expert Marcel Schillemans of the Zoogdiervereniging (Dutch Mammal Society).
Dutch Design Awards finalist Habitat 2016
Photos: Raymond Rutting