Frankey installs “world’s tallest canal bridge” between two Amsterdam buildings

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Dutch street artist Frankey has linked the upper floors of two Amsterdam buildings with a structure designed to look like one of the city’s historic canal bridges.

Frankey, whose real name is Frank de Ruwe, installed his cartoonish Canal Skybridge between a pair of buildings on Rokin, a major street in central Amsterdam.

Canal Skybridge spans two buildings on Rokin in central Amsterdam

Located 10 metres above the ground, the bridge was topped by dark green railings and a traditional crown lantern set on a wonky angle.

“Taking cues from comics where realism isn’t a constraint, I have created the world’s tallest canal bridge,” he said.

The bridge is topped by dark green railings and a traditional crown lantern

Canal Skybridge was commissioned by Dutch fintech organisation Adyen, to link the company’s headquarters building with more of its offices in the building next door.

Even though the bridge is not accessible to the public, Frankey wanted to create a design that would spark joy.

When people use the bridge, it becomes clear that the passageway is not over the top of the vaulted form, but via a transparent glass walkway that runs underneath.

“This bridge stands as a connection, but also as an interface between humour and wonder,” the artist said.

A glass floor provides the actual bridge crossing

Frankey is renowned in Amsterdam for his playful street art installations, which often include cartoon characters or pop culture references.

He has created over 500 interventions in the city, with recent examples including a Goofy figure performing acrobatics around a streetlamp and a pair of vents turned into a portrait of Kanye West.


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Canal Skybridge is one of Frankey’s most ambitious projects to date and signals his ambition to move into the world of architecture.

It took three years to bring the project to life, with help from a team of engineers and construction experts.

The bridge links offices for Dutch fintech organisation Adyen

The design was structured by a steel frame, encased in a water-based acrylic resin. This outer section was cast in 3D-printed moulds to create the shape of the bridge.

The railings and street lamp were produced using 3D printing.

Interior details include oversized bolts printed with a relief of Frankey’s face

The details continue inside the buildings, to maintain the illusion of a real stone bridge, yet the structure’s modern engineering details are also on show.

Steel cables extend out on both sides and are held in place by giant bolts, each printed with a relief of Frankey’s face.

Other recent installations around Amsterdam’s canals include a 12-metre-long 3D-printed bridge and a hotel that occupies former bridge keeper’s houses.

The photography is by Kees Hummel.

Project credits

Client: Adyen
Design: Frankey
Contractor: Van Wijnen
Architectural advisor: Boltt
Design and development advisor: Friso Dijkstra
Steel construction: Vic Obdam
Custom parts: 3D Next Level
Composite and moulding: NedCam
Structural concept: IPV Delft

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