Projects / ‘Pont Napoleon’ Bridge

‘Pont Napoleon’ Bridge - 12.013


Architectural and engeneering mission


Historically speaking, the Lek is the border between Holland and Utrecht. Although the river was initially a small offspring of the Rhine, the river's importance grew throughout the centuries. Its origins date back to 300 - 700AD, which makes the river a valuable historical carrier. An important decision was that Napoleon decided to cross the river in Vianen, as part of his Route Imperiale II. Paving this road attracted commerce to Vianen and surroundings.

Specific features

The position of the bridge on the historical Route Imperial II, and its surrounding landscape dominated by water, requires a bridge with a modest presence. The bridge an element in a landscape is almost overlooked as an object. The Pontwaard bridge should be a natural and quiet connection between 'Buitenstad' and the local ferry, leaving the marshes untouched. The cross section of the bridge is determined by two clearly defined but opposite goals. On the one hand a bridge with an upper structure is less likely to influence the currents at high tides. On the other hand, the upper structure should not interfere with the view from the bridge onto the landscape, and should remain as low as possible. The edge of the bridge also serves as barrier, and is an integral part of the bridge structure. The entire cross section of this integral concrete bridge contributes to the structural behavior of the bridge. The facing of the edge beam is prefabricated concrete. The paving of the road is a continuation of the existing bricks before and after the bridge. The parapet is a series of independent verticals in stainless steel. Through its identity the bridge fits with the surrounding landscape. The bridge is assimilated by the landscape.

  • 2012-2013

  • 2014

  • Ney & Partners

  • Rijkswaterstaat

  • Vianen, The Netherlands

  • 48 m

  • Completed
  • Thea van den Heuvel/DAPh