This bridge over a village stream is cast in high performance concrete

| 01 : 45 – 14 November 2019 |

bridge, bridge over a stream, wild forest, wild grass photo

A bridge over Dřetovice stream in Vrapice village of Czech Republic was cast in ultra-high performance concrete.

Weighing around 3.5 tones, the 1.5 meter wide pedestrian bridge is located on a trail which leads to the village cemetery. Often flooded, the wilderness around the stream and its geographical importance makes the location unique. Designed by Aoc Architects in collaboration with Klokner Institute of Prague, the structure is a great combination of design and engineering.

Double curved geometry spans over the stream

Based on the concept of a ‘portal’ connecting the living and dead world on either end, the bridge has a striking geometry. Cast in Ultra-high performance reinforced concrete, the structure is lightweight, a prototype was built to test loading capacities. Based on Baroque style, one can find a sculpture called “The Guardian’ crafted by Prof. Jan Hendrych opposite to the bridge.

sculpture, portrait. stone sculpture, baroque style

Sculpture on opposite side of the bridge

From the designers – 

The bridge over the Dřetovice stream in Vrapice, near the city of Kladno, is located on a pedestrian trail that leads from the village to the cemetery. It is set in a remarkable natural context that, in a way, compensates for the urbanized public space of the village.

drone pic, aerial view,view of bridge in forest

Aerial view of the bridge over the stream in Vrapice

The landscape around Vrapice is also geologically very interesting with findings such as fossilized shark teeth. The meadow around the bridge was often flooded and its immediate surrounding is characterized by both systematic human interventions and relative wilderness defined by constant changes due to the floods.

Amongst the wilderness, stands the bridge !

Concept of the bridge – 

The concept of the bridge bears a higher meaning; it is a magical portal between the world of the living and the dead, or a numinous object from the Space Odyssey. The unique architectural design explores the limits of light weightness and subtlety of a pedestrian bridge, artistically based on the mesmerizing black and extremely technologically advanced material.

Pedestrian bridge made from UHPC

The bridge is made from freeze-resistant ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), grade C110/130, fiber-reinforced. Structural solution of the 10 m span and 0.4 m camber adequately lies in the double-curved geometry of the bridge.

Dimension details of the bridge

This stabilizes the construction in both main directions and allows easy bracing of the bridge. With 1.5 m width in the cross section and 1.4 m3 of material used for building it, the bridge weights approx. 3.5 tons.

Structural design

During the verification of the structural design and the concrete casting technology, a prototype was built and subjected to load testing.


Analysis diagram

Pigment was added into the concrete mixture, surface patina etched and the key details hand sanded.

Precast bridge, crane on construction site, precast concrete, cranes holding concrete bridge

Site work

Sculpture opposite the bridge : The Guardian – 

Opposite to the bridge is “The Guardian”, a sculpture from the atelier of Prof. Jan Hendrych. Among other things, sculptor Hendrych is a leading expert on Baroque sculptures placed in the context of bridges and landscapes and on their plastic modelling.

Sculpture by Prof. Jan Hendrych 

The sculpture is based on the original Baroque archetypes (e.g. John of Nepomuk). It is placed in the landscape set-up completing the entire spatial composition of the bridge.

Sculpture made of similar material of the bridge

One of the main compositional themes is also the concept of the bridge as a plinth or a spatial context for the sculpture, made of a material analogous to that of the bridge.

concrete wall, concrete bridge, bridge over a stream, Aoc architects, Klokner Institute

Portal between life and death !

Project details –

Project name – Bridge over the Dřetovice stream

Location – Kladno – Vrapice, Czech Republic

Studio Aoc architectsKlokner Institute at CTU in Prague

Designers – Ondřej Císler, Petr Tej

Project type – Infrastructure

Client name – The City of Kladno

Completion – 2019 | Area – 19.50 sq. mts. | Cost – ca. 27 000 €

Photography Credits – © BoysPlayNice photography

Collaborators –

Author of the sculpture – Jan Hendrych

Casting technology – Jiří Kolísko |

Bridge manufacture – KŠ Prefa |

Product/Material details –

Structure of bridge – UHPFRC concrete (Ultra-high performance reinforced concrete)

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