improving traffic flow
The Flemish Government is investing heavily in the northern part of the R4 ring road around Ghent. The existings provincial road with heavy traffic will be transformed from a road with many at-grade intersections into a motorway with grade separated crossings. Motorised traffic will be completely separated from cyclists and pedestrians and local traffic will be separated from through traffic. The consortium responsible for constructing the new road and all its crossings, bridges and underpasses asked us to come upt with the architectural design for the approximately 25 built structures along the route.
overall design aesthetic
The project is located in a busy area where people live and work, with lots of traffic and a lot of harbour activity. With all the proposed new underpasses, overpasses, bicycle bridges and noise barriers, there is a significant risk that the final result will be rather overwhelming and confusing. That is why we came up with a all emcompassing design aesthetic, that will ensure the overall appearance will be as calm and consistent as possible. Overpasses, noise barriers and retaining walls will have a sober design, whereas the bicycle bridges will stand out more.
We divided all structures into four different design families. Each design familly has its own characteristics and appeal. For instance, all structures located in an area that is mainly a motorway surrounding, such as the E34 near Zelzate, will have a significantly different look and feel than structures in the area with harbour activities or the most western area with all its villages.
All bicycle bridges in the western part of the project area will have load-bearing steel railings. These will be perforated with various size perforations. The strutures will have a dark grey coating on the outside and a bright colour on the inside, which is different for every bridge. This way, each bridge both has a unique feature as well as a recognizable and calm appearance. The bicycle bridge in the harbour area will be made of weathering steel, wich goes well with the robust and no-nonsense appearance of the area.
partners: Arcadis, SBE and Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer