Rotterdammers are renowned for their strong sense of belonging and ability to take ownership of their city. This month, EM set off to explore the ultimate demonstration of this principle – the publicly funded wooden bridge Luchtsingel.

text and photography Kate Sytnik


Schieblock: creativity and practicality

The Luchtsingel bridge is a project initiated by the indie architects from the ZUS bureau. Built to connect the derelict North with the booming center, the bridge is 390 meters long and, with its unexpected twists and turns, reminds of a Pan’s labyrinth at times. The traces of the victims, or rather the names of the sponsors, who financed a plank, are scribbled into the wood. The final stroke of genius is the psychedelic yellow floor, which usually sharply contrasts with the greyish rainy sky. Signe Berzina (19), a Liberal Arts and Science Bachelor at the EUC, from conservative Latvia, marveled at the vibrancy of this Rotterdam Riddle with me.


Signe’s review

“I’ve seen the bridge from Hofplein many times, but I never knew it was only a small part. Even though I live nearby, I did not notice that it had eight exits in different places. I was also surprised to find a space for street art and a Roof garden. Honestly, I can’t imagine anything like that in Latvia. People there like to keep things as they are. We take the preservation of architectural heritage very seriously. That’s why we have those medieval Game-of-thrones-style castles open for visitors and a famous Old Town in Riga, which attracts many tourists. Besides, graffiti is prohibited and you could get a fine for it. However, in Rotterdam this doesn’t look out of place. I actually think that if you have a good project, you could build right about anything here and it would quite easily fit into the diversity of this modern city.”


Would you sponsor a plank or is it more useful to stock on your groceries at Albert Heijn instead?

“Depends on how much it is. If it is under 10 euros, I definitely would! I love the idea of making a mark in Rotterdam’s history.”

Visitor’s tips

Take your time to explore all the nooks and crannies of this architectural fiesta. Peaky portals and miniature roundabout all in fluorescent yellow – what better background for your next profile picture? Likes guaranteed.

Last month, we took Alexandra (19, from Prague) to a walk in the Maastunnel. Do you want to participate and discover a Rotterdam Riddle with us, send an e-mail to [email protected].