Bat Bridge – NEXT Architects
“There is no other bridge like it that is specifically designed to house bats,” claims Herman Limpens, an international expert in the field of bats from the Mammal Society. Limpens was part of the design process for the Vlotwatering bridge, that is now under construction and is expected for completion by the summer. The NEXT Architects’ Bat bridge creates a passage over the Vlotwtering, which is currently an important route for several species of bats.
Vlotwatering Bridge – House for Bats
The bat bridge by NEXT Architects becomes part of the Poelzone, an elongated area in the Westland between the existing centers of ‘ s- Gravenzande , Naaldwijk, and Monster. Along the waterway, a new green recreational zone with natural banks and spawn sites for fish will be realized. The landscape design by LOLA Landscape is made to strengthen the existing green and ecological connections in which natural and recreational values complement each other.
Crossing the Vlotwatering the new bridge winds in a surprising way between two existing parcels and marks the entrance of the Poelzone. At the highest point, the bridge makes a turn for a clear view of the area. The wooden lamellas provide openness to the natural banks along the water. For the continuity of the route the bridge is visually extended and the profile and materials of the bicycle-pedestrian path are identical as used in the park.
The construction consists of a concrete arch which spans 25 meters. The mass of the concrete provides a stable and pleasant climate for bats. The bridge has three specific bridge components that provide a roost for different bat species. At the north side, the abutment functions as a winter stay. The deck and the brick balustrade accommodate stays for bats during the summer. The bridge design is intended to constitute the ideal habitat for various species of bats so that a large colony will grow around the bridge.
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