A BRIDGE FOR BATS
When Next Architects were asked to design a bridge over the 25-metre wide Vlotwatering river in the vicinity of the city of Monster, The Netherlands, they quickly learned that the river was not only vital to humans. It is also an important route for bats, who cross the water to catch small insects.
The architects responded to this by designing a structure for both people and the animals.
Three specific elements of the bridge were designed for the bats – on the north side, an abutment accommodates winter roosting, while the deck and the brick balustrade include openings to facilitate summer roosting. The underside of the bridge will feature hidden entrances to roosting areas.
To ensure the temperature of the roosting spots remains relatively stable – particularly during the hibernation period in winter – the architects added extra concrete mass to the bridge.
An elegant blend of the needs of humans and nature.