Sunken Bridge by RO&AD


Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

This bridge across the moat of a historic Dutch fort leads visitors below the water’s surface without getting them wet.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Designed by architects RO&AD of the Netherlands and Belgium, the Sunken Bridge is an access route to the Fort de Roovere, which is part of a line of 17th century defence structures.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Unlike a conventional bridge, the structure is invisible from a distance and has little impact on surrounding views towards the fort.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Processed timber retaining walls that will resist decay separate the walkway from the surrounding still waters.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Another concealed walkway we've featured leads behind a mirror into a secret tunnel - readmore about that project here.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Here's some more text from timber supplier Accoya:

The West Brabant Water Line is a 17th century Dutch defensive line of earthen forts and walls that linked and protected a number of cities and villages during attacks from France and Spain; inundation zones were flooded with water too deep for enemy advance on foot but shallow enough to rule out use of boats.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

As part of a recent restoration project, RO&AD architects sought to build access to the line’s Fort de Roovere, the largest fortress surrounded by a moat, while still preserving the site’s aesthetic integrity and dramatic view.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

The team’s solution was a “sunken” bridge that sits within the water and slope. Following the line of the fort slope and sitting almost flush with the soil and the water level, the Moses Bridge is practically invisible as visitors approach and boasts a trench-like aesthetic.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Built with Accsys Technologies’ Accoya wood sheet piling on either side with a hardwood deck and stairs in between, the Moses Bridge is not only visually striking and highly functional, but also durable and eco friendly.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Accoya wood undergoes a nontoxic proprietary modification process called acetylation that renders it an unrecognizable wood source, preventing fungal decay while increasing its dimensional stability.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Accoyawood is sourced from FSC- and PEFC-certified forests and is Cradle to Cradle Gold certified.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

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  • Moment

    a kind of peace

  • johnny

    King tide???

    • Aaron

      It's a moat, as stated in the first sentence. I'm pretty sure they're not tidal.

  • In the winter you can make great jumps while skating… ;-)

  • t ii

    love that long-neck-only person ~

  • orh

    interesting project, very subtle and understated. bravo!
    question- is there no change of water levels?, no danger of flooding?

    • Marco

      Dutch water systems more often than not by nature have no change of water levels (one can only live in below sea level land if one controls the water level). I suppose that's the case in this project too.

      Remarkable project in every way.

  • andy

    best piece of work in a while!

  • andy

    As it is going to be asked. Does the water level not change as it is not a river or is the water level change so minimal it would never flood?

  • Apart from 'The big floating heads'-horror theme, it's actually rather poetic..

  • M@D

    Moïse would love it.

  • clemente

    like it heavily!

    but the site itself is influenced…(?)

  • Rich

    Fantastic concept, poor implementation.
    A quick image search reveals quite a lot of pics of it flooded and unusable.
    Such a pity….

  • Thomas V.


  • sue

    So Beautiful – one of the best i've seen on Dezeen yet!

  • Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.
    Frank Lloyd Wright

  • Only the Dutch would think of building a bridge BELOW water level!!! Innovative, has wow factor, fit for purpose – a winner!!!

    • zoo keeper

      She floods hard.

  • Wonderful concept, creative , engaging and fun.

  • while I like the concept, what I don´t is the "stuff" floating on one side of the bridge looks dam ugly and most likely smells accordingly

  • Mooooooooses!

  • laura skeeters

    Poetic, ingenous but also funny.
    I would expect to see somethinglike this in Monty Python's The Holy Grail!
    It also reminded me of Tadao Ando's water chapel.

  • rjc

    very very sweet

  • So peaceful…. as long as the water stays peaceful. Love it!

  • roel

    How ingenious! Really stunning!

  • co van der hoek


  • dhamphir

    suitable for a dead pond

  • xtiaan

    well it looks great, but its gonna flood, and what happens to all the river scum rubbish that piles up on one side?

    • Matt

      You don't think the designers and engineers thought about the water levels and drainage? Also – it's not crossing a river – it's a moat as stated in the text. Just saying…..

  • desideratum

    It's a wonderful project. Great for joggers!
    But what about boat rowers? Would've been nice if these two can intersect somehow.

  • Jacob DU

    And when they have a heavy rain fall? Flooded. This is stupid.

  • Ooops!