Modest fit, simple design
Alkmaar is blessed with a great palette of bridges, each with its own individual expression and opening mechanism, this bridge is a new addition. The Victory bridge is one functional system with the adjacent railway bridge (with a similar opening regime and length of the span), but with a distinct architecture. The railway bridge has two massive abutments and an impressive heavy moving structure. Our bridge is in contrast characterized by visual continuity. The moving part is practically invisible.
The design is characterized by a powerful line in the center of the deck: the spine. This is a torsion resistant hollow box, giving the bridge its structural integrity. The spine protrudes circa 50 centimeters above the deck, allowing for a quick sit. It is also a safe separation between the busy realms of cyclists and pedestrians. All the necessary functional elements such as camera’s, beams and lighting have been placed in and on the spine, resulting in a well organized image of bridge. Lighting from the centre of the deck is ecologically sound: there is no risk for stray light under the deck, which is good for night animals such as bats.
The design is as minimalistic as possible. The thin edges and transparent parapet provide the bridge a very slender profile. The bridge is supported entirely on the water. The quaysides (and the underground cables!) are not influenced. The profile of the Noord Hollands canal is uninterrupted. A light curvature of the quay is all that is needed now. If in future the land infrastructure needs to be expanded the abutment can be changed into a quay wall, without any need for additions to the bridge deck proper.
This is a central item in the design: the very slim detailing results in minimum use of materials, high quality conservation in minimum maintenance and good balancing of the moving part in minimum energy use. The bridge is opened by an energy efficient electromechanical actuator. It is the first time that this bridge opening technology has been used at this scale in the Netherlands.