Papiermolen passageway Groningen

Year 2017 - 2022
Typology Tunnel
Location Groningen, NL
Client Gemeente Groningen
Collaboration Max Bögl, Zueblin, Noordelijke Wegenbouw Combinatie, wUrck, Witteveen + Bos
Architects Syb van Breda, Nicolai Waterdrinker, Nick van Dorp, Ruud Burger, Mark Ernst

The structural design of Papiermolen passage was approved in the spring of 2017. After careful study, it turned out to be possible to construct a functional and safe tunnel on the site of the current one, with a net height of 2.90 meters. Realization of the tunnel preserves an important link in the bicycle network of Groningen, but also an important flight route of the local bat.

The architectural concept

The Papiermolen Passage is a special member of the large and diverse family of structural works in the Southern Ring Road. Just like the viaducts and the tunnel, the tunnel will also have a city-facing façade, with the characteristic capstone and project-specific termination. Typical elements such as straight walls in the underpass, vertical masonry and lettering in weather-resistant steel are applied here as well. The tunnel also has specific solutions that only occur here. In contrast to the viaducts, the green noise barrier, the Parkway profile and the slope continue uninterrupted. The highway is barely perceptible from the neighborhood. Everyone in the area is happy with this. The tunnel bundles several slow traffic routes running both at right angles and parallel to the highway. Hence the trumpet-shaped entrances. All routes enter and exit the tunnel smoothly, the wide entrance is welcoming and socially safe.

Lighting the interior

The Papiermolen Passage can become the symbol of the cycling city of Groningen. A special passage that transcends the usual austere and efficient appearance of a bicycle tunnel. One of the most important means to get such a special appearance is the lighting. In the images that we have made of the tunnel, it seems as if the tunnel interior itself provides light. We want to achieve this by hiding the light sources as well as possible. If socially safe and bat friendly, we also want to use black light.