Centered in the town of Hoofddorp in the Netherlands, Haarlemmermeer is an area of rapid economic and urban growth. With the new development program on both sides of the Hoofdvaart Canal, which includes the construction of 17,000 new residential units, the Haarlemmermeer District Council resolved to create access to this new residential area through bridges at main crossings over the canal and acts as the main drainage of what was once the Haarlemmermeer or Harlem Sea. The three new bridges smooth the flow of pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic on the local and regional level. These bridges not only serve as landmarks symbolizing a time when the entire area was a sea, it also serve as signature structures for this important new municipal area.
Calatrava's design responds to the exisiting flat landscape surrounded with birches and poplars standing beside the canal and to the rapid growth of the city. The trees suggested the desirability of adding a sequence of vertical landmarks beside the horizontal line of the canal. The need to conform the city to the experience of driving — that is, to create views that will be seen in motion from changing perspectives — suggested that the sequence should be unified as variations on a theme. All three bridges are cable-stayed and have a main steel pylon in the form of a spindle. The spindle varies its position throughout the sequence from its vertical to incline. The layout of the cables also varies, changing the visual impact on the height and importance of the pylon.
Recognizing the ensemble nature of the bridges as well as the projected musical image, residents of the area awareded the bridges with the name the Lyre, the Harp and the Lute. The Lyre is the new southern gateway of Hoofddorp located at the Nieuwe Bennebroekerweg Junction, a traffic node that will be linked to the A4 motorway. The Lyre is in fact two connected spans — a lower bridge at 19.6 meters (64.25 feet) and a flyover at 148.8 meters (488 feet) — whose cables are ingeniously linked to the pylon, rising to a height of 58 meters (190.25 feet). The Harp marks the northern entrance to the area of Nieuw Vennep at the Vennep Bypass. Local traffic passes below, while bypass traffic cross over the 142.8 meters (468.4 feet) span of the bridge. The Harp has the largest pylon of the three bridges at 82 meters (269 feet) in length, and rising to a height of 72 meters (236 feet). The Lute provides access to the Toolenburg-Oost district of Hoofddorp at the Toolenburg traffic intersection.
The Council's original plans called for the construction of a traffic roundabout at this intersection, but Calatrava's design managed to reloacte the round-about above the Hoofdvaart by constructing the Lute out of two curved roadways, each 26.25-meter long (86 feet) supported by a 40-meter (131 feet) high pylon.
1999 - 2004
- ECCS European Steel Design Award 2005