Next Architects’ Bat-friendly Bridge Has Winter Roosts Built In To Its Concrete Structure

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The Vlotwateringbrug by Following Architects spans a river that kinds an critical natural pathway for the neighborhood bat population, and gives shelter for the mammals with a series of covered roosting spots.

Clad with a screen of wooden slats on one side and a brick on the other, the bridge spans a 25-metre gap among the banking institutions of the Vlotwatering river in Monster, a town in the Dutch province of South Holland.

The bridge’s curving kind – created to provide a location to pause and take in views of the surrounding spot – implies that its complete length is truly 70 metres prolonged. It is seven metres broad and supplies a new crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.

Vlotwateringbridge bat bridge by Next Architects

The river is an important route for the bats, which cross the water to catch modest insects, so the architects responded to the client’s quick for an “eco-pleasant” bridge by developing a construction for the two people and the animals.


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“One particular of the obvious issues of the area was that there have been presently diverse types of bats flying the route more than the water – all through the winter intervals they hide in planet war two concrete bunkers about the region, for the moderate climate,” Subsequent Architects co-founder Bart Reuser told Dezeen.

“This grew to become our inspiration, we imagined we may possibly be capable to layout the basis (bridgehead) equating the environmental qualities of a bunker,” he explained.

Vlotwateringbridge bat bridge by Next Architects

To generate a bridge that could offer protected roosting spots for diverse species of bat – especially during the hibernation time period in winter – the architects had to include further mass to ensure its temperature could stay relatively steady.

They chose to use concrete for the primary construction, and designed hidden entrances to roosting locations on the underside.

Vlotwateringbridge bat bridge by Next Architects

“The essentials of developing for bats does not differ significantly from developing for people,” mentioned Reuser. “It is critical that the temperature does not drop as well far, this is achievable by utilizing lots of mass that equalises temperature all through the day and the seasons.”

Bridges are hefty structures by themselves so with small adaptations we can make them suitable as bat locations. In our case we required to thicken the concrete basis, walls and decks to an common of .75 metres.”

3 specific factors of the bridge have been designed for the bats – on the north side, an abutment accommodates winter roosting, while the deck and the brick balustrade consist of openings to facilitate summer roosting.

Vlotwateringbridge bat bridge by Next Architects

“For security you need to shield the bats towards their organic enemies, which are predators like cats and owls, but largely humans,” stated Reuser. “It is most critical to make entrances for their stays that are very tiny, hardly noticeable or are not able to be reached by their normal enemies.”

The architects hope that a massive colony of various species will be encouraged to develop close to the bridge.

In the course of the design and style process, they consulted Herman Limpen from the Netherland’s Mammal Society, a single of the top authorities in bat behaviour.

“There is no other bridge like it that is especially designed to residence bats,” stated Limpens.

Vlotwateringbridge bat bridge by Next Architects

The bridge is currently under building and is due to be finished in August 2015.

It forms component of a 21-hectare waterway task known as the Poelzone that aims to flip the banks of the river in between ‘s-Gravenzande, Naaldwijk and Monster into a public recreation zone as effectively as produce new habitats for indigenous wildlife.

This project is becoming overseen by landscape layout studio LOLA Landscape. The bridge by Up coming Architects marks the starting of the Poelzone’s route.

The wooden cladding of the bridge was selected to reflect materials being utilised elsewhere in the park.

Vlotwateringbridge bat bridge by Next ArchitectsInternet site program Vlotwateringbridge bat bridge by Next ArchitectsArea Dezeen

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