Hop-Overs De Centrale As

Bat and Bike Guide

During the construction of De Centrale As, artificial hop-overs were installed to guide bats over the new road at a safe height. The bat connections are also built for recreational pedestrian and bicycle use, bridges for humans and animals.
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Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers with Jurriaan Hillerström, Wiebe Strick, Pieter Mulder, Jurrian Knijtijzer, Maarten Vermeulen, Magdalena Nalepa (NEXT) and Frank Talsma and Marie Baartmans (H+N+S)

H+N+S Landschapsarchitecten, AltenburgWymenga, Grontmij, Witteveen en Bos

Hans Knijff, Siebe Swart

Exploring Ecological Connections

In connection with the protection that bats enjoy under the Flora and Fauna Act, measures must be taken when new roads are built to prevent negative effects on bats. One of the measures that has been applied is a so-called artificial hop-over. This is an innovative construction over the road, which serves as a guide, and so leads bats across the road at a safe height. In collaboration with H+N+S landscape architects and ecological research bureau Altenburg&Wymenga, a series of special bat connections have been realized for the Central Axis.

Connecting functionality

On most locations on the road of De Centrale As, the passages are achieved by planting trees close to the edges of the road and on the median strip. However, on a number of locations this is not possible. At these points artificial hop-overs are needed to take over the trees’ function. These hop-overs guide bats across a road and keep their habitat connected. Where possible, this is combined with a bicycle- and pedestrian bridge: a bridge for both humans and animals. The design of the bridge also works as a hop-over. A bridge for humans and animals. Ecological connections are not used as a purely technical solution, but also have meaning for the identity and experience of the road and landscape.

Creating integrated structures

The hop-overs and bicycle bridges have been designed in conjunction. Preservation of the existing trees and landscape structures is leading in the integration and design of the hop-overs. Both objects have a strong and recognizable main shape due to the sloping surfaces and angles. The bridge also fits in with the landscape in terms of materialisation. The steel construction is clad with vertical wooden slats. The greyed wood combined with the sharp lines of the anthracite-coated steel construction contrasts with the tree girths to which the hop-fresh connects.

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