Polish designers propose novel approach to mixed-use hydropower production

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands 6/6/12 (PennWell) — A submission to Amsterdam’s Iconic Pedestrian Bridge Competition could combine hydroelectric generation and pedestrian traffic in a unique way.

Where many conventional hydropower structures feature causeways on their tops for pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the “Turbine Bridge” — created by Polish design house DWAWU wiercinski + wrzeszcz — puts the bridge inside a rotating, tube-shaped structure would act as the plant’s turbine.

A spiraled design on the exterior of the tube would cause it to rotate with the flow of the Amstel River, while a double-decker bridge inside would be used as a multipurpose space for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The bridge would be suspended and anchored at both ends, allowing it to turn freely.

Schematics provided by the architect show the plant’s generating units on the lower level of the bridge and a pedestrian pathway, bicycle shop, administrative offices and cafe on the top level.

Amsterdam, sometimes called the “Venice of the North,” is home to numerous canals and more than 1,500 bridges.

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