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The footbridge gives Zwolle a wooden and green ‘elevated street’ over the railway

Karres en Brands, as the coordinating architect, designed the new bridge over the Zwolle railway tracks. We are particularly proud to show the result that we, together with the entire design team, have been working on in recent months. The footbridge offers a unique experience and links the centre of Zwolle to the city’s south side. The design prioritizes how the people of Zwolle, visitors, and travellers use and experience the bridge. Its strength lies in the space on top of the footbridge, as a pinnacle of streets of the city. The dynamic shape, which is over 127 metres long and 10 metres wide, enhances this special experience. In Zwolle, construction will start in 2023. 

From perspective to design

For us, the footbridge is the icing on the cake after we delivered the Development Perspective for the Zwolle railway station area in 2017. Several projects from the Development Perspective have already been implemented, such as the new bicycle shelter and the station square. The footbridge is the next step! The design for the footbridge is now ready to be presented to the Zwolle city council. A design team comprised of experts in a number of fields worked on the bridge. The team consisted of employees from the municipality of Zwolle, ProRail, Karres en Brands, engineering firm ipv Delft, and Miebach – an engineering firm from Germany which specializes in timber construction.

Important link in Zwolle's new city centre

The special footbridge will link the old city centre and the Spoorzone (railway track zone) area, the renovated area on the other side of the railway track where many development projects are being carried out. It is an important driver for the development taking place in the Spoorzone area. In essence, the footbridge unites two worlds. The first is the 19th-century city with canals and a park-like Stationsplein square complete with monumental trees. The second is on the south side of the station, where a new district is being developed with businesses, education, culture and, in the future, more housing. With this new link, visitors can go from one side of the city centre to the other. 

Wood, green, and water  

The footbridge will resemble a raised street with lots of greenery such as trees, bushes, and water. It will be a lovely place to stay. The base of the bridge is wood. Concrete is only used for the foundation. This gives the footbridge a sustainable, warm, and friendly appearance. Water has an important role as part of the footbridge. This is both for the experience and for the plants. For example, excess rainwater drains away via a special gutter which is partially visible, and a special waterwork will be installed at the highest point of the bridge. 

Next steps

Once the council approves the design of the footbridge over the railway tracks, the construction work will be put out to tender. The construction work above the tracks and the stairs will be tendered by ProRail. The municipality is responsible for the tendering of the design of the public space on the bridge. The building next to the station building is scheduled to be demolished in December 2022. The stairs to the bridge will be built at this location (on the North side of the station). The construction of the footbridge can then begin in 2023.

In samen werking met: gemeente Zwolle, ProRail, ipv Delft en Miebach