Clean CANAL Water is the proposal entry by Margot Krasojevic for the Competition Amsterdam footbridge 2012.
Water management is still the most important function of Amsterdam canals. Without them, the city would drown. Circulating the water is also vital for sanitary reasons. In the days when windmills had to do the job, the stench of the water could become unbearable in periods with little wind or rain.
Three times a week, 14 of the 16 existing waterlocks around the city close up, so clean water can be pumped in from the big lake IJsselmeer. The current that is created pushes the dirty canal water out through the open locks on the other side of the city. Specialized cleaning boats with big scoops and nets patrol frequently clean surface debris. Since 2005, all the houseboats in the city are connected to the sewer system.
The cleaner water has attracted 20 different species of fish and crab that live a healthy life below the surface. Water birds like herons, ducks, coots, gulls and cormorants also feed and live on the canals.
The bridge proposal uses this as a design criteria, the form of the proposed bridge follows a water vortex, which pumps dirty canal water through and round the steel tubes which filter it and create a current which helps with the sanitation of the canals especially when they are flushed 3 times a week. The bridge acts as a pump pushing dirty water out through the open locks on to the other side of the city, where the cleaning boats patrol and clean the debris. The bridge acts as a reservation for birds which in recent years have been attracted to the cleaner water in the canals.
The coffee shop and the steel ribbed frames that wrap around the bridge reflect the constant movement in the city, bicycles are hoisted up into the frames waiting to be repaired. The coffee shop is an orange water tunnel which has inner reinforced etched glass panels that mimic that give the feel of being underwater. The entire scheme is a piece of reclaimed land, a polder which also allows for people to sunbathe and relax, like an reclaimed urban beach.