Moses Bridge: the magical “invisible” bridge

the bridge designed by RO and AD Architecten crosses the moat of a 17th Century fortress

by Malcolm Clark
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The Moses bridge crossing the water of the moat in Fort de Roovere was designed by the architects of RO&AD Architecten in Halsteren in the south-west of the Netherlands.

The bridge is made with high performance accoya® wood and has a non toxic and fungicidal external coating. The structure surprises and astonishes visitors for its capacity of blending in with the landscape and for its more than original under-the-water line position.

The West Brabant Water Line is a defence line consisting of a group of 17th century fortresses constructed in cities with flood inundation areas. The recent restoration of the Water Line (which had fallen into disrepair in the 19th century) made it necessary to build an access bridge crossing the Fortress moat, which now has a recreational function and is on many cycling and hiking routes.

The architects thought that building a bridge over the moat of a defensive system would have been completely improper especially if it was on the side of the fortress where the enemy would have appeared from. This is why they decided to design an “invisible” bridge, a sort of trench in the moat, which blends in with the profile of the surrounding landscape. In the distance the bridge is almost invisible, because land and water hide the structure until you get to its edges. Only when you reach the structure, can you go along the sunken trench, like Moses parting the red sea, before reaching the steel staircase going up the bank behind it.

    the Moses bridge 145

    the Moses bridge

    Bergen op Zoom / Netherlands / 2011