From indoor beehives to pop-up greenhouses, the Netherlands has proven to be a hot spot for innovative green design - and the latest addition to the country's incredible resume of environmental architecture is this boat-themed wooden highway bridge. Designed by collaborators Onix and Achterbosch Architectuur (OAK) and made of ultra-durable and long-lasting Accoya wood, the city marker bridge is an eye-catching super structure that warmly welcomes passersby.
Known for its rich maritime past, Sneek wanted the town’s entry bridge to be a symbol of its history. OAK’s woven wood design representing an upturned boat beat out hundreds of others in a regional competition for the landmark. All bridges in the Netherlands must meet a minimum 80 year lifespan requirement and while steel bridges last nearly 55 years, and concrete 90 years, accoya wood was chosen as the ideal material not only for its durability but also for its complete lack of CO2 emissions, making it over 50% cleaner than other materials.
Accoya is artificially created from nearly every other natural wood source. It goes through a non-toxic modification process that prevents fungal decay and makes it incredibly stable. The material itself is sourced entirely from FSC and PEFC certified timber forests and is Cradle to Cradle Gold certified.
The whole bridge, measuring 1,134 meters including two traffic lanes and a bike lane, used only 1,200 cubic meters of accoya wood. Manufactured offsite and then craned into place, the supporting beams of the bridge are finger jointed together, requiring a minimal amount of additional material.
Images via Achterbosch Architectuur