Design of a funicular concrete bridge with knitted formwork

Sam Bouten*, Mariana Popescu, Francesco Ranaudo, Tom van Mele, Philippe Block, Pierre Mengeot, Kenneth Wyns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper presents the design, engineering and digital fabrication strategies for a circular pedestrian bridge to be built as part of “De Groene Boog” development of the A16 highway north of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The bridge is designed as a lightweight funicular unreinforced concrete gridshell with openings based on the principle of a three-hinged arch extrapolated to 3D geometry. In its realisation, it demonstrates a model of circular construction using recent material developments (such as recycled concrete) and an efficient flexible formwork system using knitted textiles. The presented design and fabrication process is developed collaboratively by the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich and De Groene Boog. The structure is commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventIABSE Congress, Ghent 2021: Structural Engineering for Future Societal Needs - Ghent, Virtual, Belgium
Duration: 22 Sep 202124 Sep 2021


ConferenceIABSE Congress, Ghent 2021: Structural Engineering for Future Societal Needs
CityGhent, Virtual


  • Circular design
  • Circular economy
  • Funicular bridge
  • Graphic statics
  • Knitted formwork
  • Pedestrian bridge
  • Recycled concrete
  • Sustainable design
  • Thrust Network Analysis


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