The Paleisbrug pedestrian and cycle bridge is a 250-meter-long connection between the historic center and the Paleiskwartier neighborhood in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. But what sets this bridge apart is that it also doubles as a raised park. If that weren't enough, the bridge, designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects, will not only act as a link between different parts of the city, but will also supply the surrounding area with energy generated by its large solar panels.
The bridge runs across Germent – a large open green area which has been preserved thanks to its history of flooding. Those taking the bridge will enjoy spectacular views across this area, the greenery along the Dommel River and the recreational area around the Hofvijver in Paleiskwartier.
Various spans of the bridge are combined with weather-proof steel panels and comprise horizontal weather-proof steel ducts covered in a concrete compression layer. The largest span, measuring 60 meters in length, runs across the railway track and has additional truss joints to secure its structural integrity. The surface of the bridge was divided into four two-meter-wide lanes consisting of flower beds and paving.
The architects integrated plants, trees, furniture and lighting into the folded sheets of weather-proof steel which references the appearance of Paleisbrug’s fortifications. The materials used enable the structure to have a lifespan of at least 100 years, according the architects. Flower beds and tree containers were organized in three zones- closer to the city center, the bridge will have low, savannah-like plants and individual trees. Where the bridge crosses the railway track, there will only be low plants, in line with the extensive views. Towards Paleiskwartier, a more forest-like environment with benches and LED lighting creates a new eco-system that blends with the surrounding landscape.
The giant solar collector mounted onto the bridge is connected to a heat/cold storage unit and provides floor heating throughout the length of the structure. It will also supply the surrounding district with energy.