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Amsterdam, the capital of Netherlands is said to be a city with heart. The polycentric city of Amsterdam has its heart and soul lying in its ring of canals and bridges that bind the concentric and infinite loop that the city is. The city is popularly called the ‘Venice of North’, for its more than one hundred kilometers of canals, around 90 islands and about 1500 bridges.
The canals and bridges of Amsterdam are as typical a symbol of the Netherlands as are its museums and art centres. The city has a very strong cultural and artistic identity. Amsterdam is the most important cultural and artistic centre to the north from Paris and between London and Cologne. Art galleries play a major role on the rich cultural scene of Amsterdam – along with theatres, concert halls, museums, libraries, design centres, and periodical events such as cultural festivals and art fairs. Amsterdam is known for its heavy-hitters of art history – Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh. The city of museums is the one of the most important destination for the art-mappers of the world.
Architecture is also a physical manifestation and expression of art and there is no surprise that Amsterdam has become renowned as the City of beautiful Bridges. Linking the city’s distinct neighbourhoods through an intricate, slowly evolving web, these structures – some of which date back more than 350 years – help bicycles, scooters, locals, tourists, cars, horses, cats and dogs across its roads and over its waters. The very famous and different city bridges like Magere Brug, Nesciobrug, Torensluis, Hogesluis and Blauburg etc. offer a view of different cityscapes through their eyes and ears.
The aim of the competition is to design an iconic pedestrian bridge in the heart of Amsterdam that will also function as an art gallery, performance venue and a very dynamic public space. The proposal must not only attend to the specific function but the design should also take into consideration the urban insertion and impact geared towards creating a new architectural symbol for a European capital city.