Short payback time makes steel pillar formwork the best optionPillar formwork for Weerwaterbrug pedestrian and cycling bridge in Almere, the Netherlands

The new bridge across the artificial Weerwater lake near Almere will provide a link between the Lumièrepark and the future Floriade district. Thousands of Almere residents made use of the opportunity to vote for their favourite design of this sustainable connection across Weerwater lake. The construction was entrusted to Strukton Civiel West, which approached Hendriks precon for the pillar formwork.


In designing the new bridge, Quist Wintermans Architekten let itself be inspired by nature and its flowing forms. This is clearly evident from the shape of the bridge draped across the water in a meandering movement. It is a beautiful structure with an elegant bridge deck and ornamental pillars in flowing organic shapes. Striking staying places will be integrated into the bridge. The balustrade’s shape is reminiscent of reed stems, while the bamboo seating elements will be enriched with a mix of grass varieties and canola flowers.

The pillars and the bridge deck are made of concrete; a construction material that will last for decades and thus contributes to the desired sustainability. To construct the pillars, Strukton Civiel West makes use of footings that will be set down on top of the piles. Special formwork developed in cooperation with Hendriks precon will be placed on these piles.

Quick payback

Jelle Huntjens of Strukton Civiel West about the chosen pillar formwork: “Nine pillars of five different heights will be poured for the bridge. As a result the bridge deck will first gradually rise after which it will gently slope back down again. We specifically settled on steel formwork. This makes it possible to work fast, create complex shapes and it can be reused several times without comprising on quality. We also performed calculations using wood formwork, but the extra costs involved in steel formwork will be fully offset by the savings in working hours. The steel pillar formwork makes it possible to create a pillar in 8 to 9 days, including building the formwork, and pouring and curing the concrete.”

Adjustable pillar formwork

Because the pillars are of varying heights, it must also be possible to adjust the formwork’s height. Jelle Huntjens: “Normally speaking, we solve that issue by installing adaptors on top of the formwork, but in this case they are installed at the bottom. After placing the semi-circular erection formwork, the rebar is installed after which the enclosing formwork can be assembled. Any adaptors are installed at the same incline as the rest of the pillar formwork.”

The steel pillar formwork furthermore guarantees a very sleek concrete shape. The pillar formwork is equipped with a secure pouring facility at the top, with an integrated cage ladder.

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