Bicycle tunnel

In Doetinchem we recently celebrated the opening of the new bicycle tunnel that connects the western districts of Doetinchem with the city centre and the railway station. The bicycle tunnel is part of our masterplan for Iseldoks that comprises the transformation of an old industrial site into a new urban district. We designed both the tunnel and the surrounding landscape.

Instead of sinking the bikeway into the ground, thus creating a long and dark passage, we opened the landscape and gently sloped it down to the bicycle path. Underpassing the road with a bicycle tunnel has been transformed into underpassing a viaduct in an open and continuous landscape. The gentle slopes connect the different heights of the terrain and guide the bicycle path parallel to a railway. The landscape is planted with trees and grasses that are native for the area and that can be found along the railway already. Groups of birches are planted to initiate a spontaneous green structure.

The design for the tunnel further emphasizes the idea of a continuous landscape. The tunnel has widening, tilted walls to make it extra spacious and light. To articulate the continuity of the space, we applied the typical pattern of birch tree stems as a relief on the concrete tunnel elements. This pattern of stems is continued in the access ramps on both sides. They are being repeated irregularly to create a natural rhythm. Furthermore the edge of the viaduct is gently rounded and detailed with a generous wooden railing for people to linger when overpassing the viaduct. But mostly, we give cyclist a safe and light passage under the busy road.