The Dutch studio Mei Architects and Planners has used the Bridge of Sighs in Venice as the perfect inspiration for meeting the needs of a client.
The client purchased a historic building and the warehouse next door. As the last floor of both buildings were to be used as a home, Mei Architects and Planners had to create a bridge to connect them.
This was a difficult challenge that had to take into account the difference in height of the two buildings, their stylistic diversity, the fact they were working on a historic building and the need for privacy, etc. This is where the Bridge of Sighs comes into play to resolve these design difficulties.
It is presented as the addition of a new temporal level that respects and preserves the nature of the existing architecture. The new bridge has a self-supporting glass and steel structure. The external façade is painted white and created in perforated steel, with embossed 3D decorative motifs that recall the original wrought iron decorations of the historic building. To ensure privacy, it is impossible to see what is happening on the bridge from the outside, while the outside can be seen from the inside of the bridge. The bridge is created in a reversible manner, so that in the future it can be removed without damaging the buildings. The white colour, the perforations that give privacy and offer the opportunity to look out, and the varied height: the link with theBridge of Sighs can be seen immediately, even at a distance of 1300 km.
Architect: Robert Winkel – Mei Architects
Place: Schiedam, Netherlands
Photo: Jeroen Musch, Wikipedia