Pertusillo Bridge


The bridge is an attempt to reconcile the area with the reservoir that was built 50 years ago. The bridge stands with feline legs in the former valley. Due to the large differences in level between summer and winter (30m), a dynamic distortion of the alignment occurs that keeps pace with the seasons. At the same time, the bridge is a graceful crowning of the lake. A tourist staircase has been carved into the arch. At the top, the view finally gives the lake its place.

The Agri RiverĀ  is one of five rivers in the Basilicata region that flow from the foothills of the Apeninnes to the Ionian Sea. A dam was built in the river between 1957 and 1962. More than 500m above sea level, a reservoir has been created here for hydro-electricity, irrigation and drinking water. 7.5km2 in size, it is only used by the population for sport fishing. A reverse phantom pain is what remains now that the original valley and life with the river has disappeared.

A new bridge connects the little village Spinoso on theĀ  south side of the reservoir with the regional road that runs longitudinally from the valley on the other side. Where the Pertusillo dam is a curved colossus with a height of 95m, functional and charming as engineering can be, the arch bridge with pull strap in the deck is a gesture of the purest kind. In the largest free span, the arches tilt towards each other. This creates a sculptural shape with a gate effect for the users of the bridge. Within the arch, the artificial lake is experienced in its full length. The central arch gets two smaller double pendants on either side that complete the shape and make the attachment with the shores. In the extreme legs is the start of the staircase that leads as a scenic route to the summit of the middle arch, 72m above the highest water level in the lake and at 100m altitude when the lake is almost empty.

The variable water level of the lake is at the core of the design of the bridge. The bridge grabs the ground with its twelve legs. Some of them with their base below and some others above the surface of the water. Due to the sculptural nature of the bridge, its appearance of the bridge varies with the water level, dictated by the seasons.

Size: Length 400 m, Height 72 m Duration: 2007 Design team: Twan Haanen, Jasper Pat, Anne Zekveld, Michiel Burgerhout, Dik Houben In cooperation with: Plan 3 (civil engineering advice)