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Nicholas Grimshaw

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The Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners-designed Ijburg Bridge in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has opened.

However, the 240m long bridge originally went nowhere. It was designed as part of Amsterdam's land reclamation project on the Ijburg freshwater lake. The bridge was built to enable material to be transported to a reclamation site and then become the island's 'umbilical cord' to the mainland. It contains several lanes of traffic, tramlines, cycle paths, mains drainage and other public utility services, as well as pedestrian footpaths. The wide decks are divided to leave gaps, allowing diagonal views of the lake below. The decks are suspended from two groups of three arches, fabricated from faceted lengths of steel box. The design of the bridge was architect-led and the brief was so unusual that the project attracted the label of 'optimistic architecture' from Grimshaw. The contract value was £18 million.

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