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Hyperbolae in the Polder

A family visit yesterday brought me to Nieuw Vennep, close to the Calatrava bridges. I of course seized the opportunity to take a long overdue look @ them.

I was quite impressed. The three bridges of Calatrava in the Haarlemmermeer in Holland are already well documented by Rob (Alvaraalto) and Hans (Hanssie).
Looking at his bridges in the polder and experiencing them, introduces us to marvelous conceptual tension, induced by the smart and elegant high tech ‘engineering art’ of Calatrava, set of against the low tech, rural green polder-landscape of the Haarlemmermeer polder. This clearly shown: here.
In the eyes of the ones critical of his creations this tension isn’t resolved. According to them these bridges stay ‘fremdkörper’, alien elements in the landscape because of the lack of the urbanity in their context. The truly cynic dismiss them as empty gestures, the result of the actions of an over-ambitious municipality.
In my eyes the tension indeed isn’t resolved but this makes for a very enjoyable experience. Things shouldn’t always have to be compatible. And apart from that, in due course these bridges will get their urban context because of the rapid economic development of the region.

The bridge pictured here is the most near to the centre of Hoofddorp and has the highest level of integration in its environment, due to the railway-infrastructure and advancing Hoofddorp. This most clearly shown in the pic added as a WS.
The design feature that sets this bridge apart from its brothers is that it consists of two separate decks, suspended from the rakish Calatrava-trade mark single pylon between them.
Considering the discussion about the relation between the bridge and its environment, another design trade mark of these bridges is of interest: the geometric pattern that the tuien (suspension cables) form: this pattern is a ‘hyperbola’, which is close to ‘hyperbole’ – overstatement. Perhaps Calatrava was symbolically commenting on himself by designing these bridges ;-)

PCS tech: corrected perspective distortion, cropped, contrast, curves & saturation adjusted (the sky separately), USM-ed frame added and saved for the web.

Hanssie, jhm, Fixfocus, carper, nwoehnl, alvaraalto, Rinie_Hoff, pamastro has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Bert Hoetmer (bertolucci) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1883 W: 126 N: 4146] (13358)
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