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Constructed from concrete and clad in wooden slats and bricks, Monster’s bat bridge winds across the 25-meter gap between the Vlotwatering riverbanks in a curvilinear path conducive for leisurely walks and bicycle trips. NEXT Architects strategically placed the curves in areas that overlook the best landscape views.

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In addition to its pedestrian and bicycle-friendly design, the bridge offers the ideal habitat for several species of bats with the goal of growing a large colony. The concrete construction retains a high thermal mass for a stable climate, while the underside is outfitted with a pattern of grooves that serve as roosts. The north side accommodates bats in the winter, while the wooden slats and brick balustrades are better suited for summer stays.

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Related: NEXT Architects’ Möbius Strip Pedestrian Bridge Wins Meixi Lake District Competition

Bat expert Marcel Schillemans from the Mammal Society commended the project as “a textbook example of how a functional object can at the same time serve nature.” The bridge will be complemented by a new green landscape designed by LOLA Landscape Architects. The ecological landscape design will serve recreational purposes and include spawn sites for fish.

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Images via NEXT Architects