Product Idea |

Dutch Drawbridge: Walter Süskind Bridge, Amsterdam (V2)

NEW: more technical features involved, connecting both bridge halve. Read on for more.

Welcome to Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is one of the Top 10 travel destinations worldwide according to tourism agencies. And when you think of Amsterdam, you think of canals, old warehouses and many bridges. Did you know Amsterdam is the city with the most bridges worldwide?

So when I wanted to build a typical Dutch piece of architecture, I chose the bridge I like best, based on looks: The Walter Süskind bridge. Located near the Waterlooplein, the Stopera theatre and the former Hermitage Museum, this beautiful double drawbridge towers over the Nieuwe Herengracht just along the grand river The Amstel.
And would you believe that right at that moment, the municipality had just put all blueprints and engineering details online for a tender for renovation of the bridge? Lucky me!

The model

This is the third model (now v3.2) I built of the Walter Süskind bridge (number one helped aboard the Legomasters TV show, for sure). I have had the mechanics of the model on display on several occasions. Event crowds, engineers, the company that renovated the real bridge, and the municipality itself, were all the same page: this build should become a real set! So, here we go!

Now, what makes this model worth building? It houses technique, captures the look of the real bridge and hosts quite a challenging building experience. It could be used as an architecture display model, or incorporated in a city layout or just a model to play with. Opening and closing the bridge seems to captivate everyone endlessly.


The model was tested on several occasions and proven to be a really fun building experience. This is because of many nice features:

  • the sloped white arches forming the tunnel openings on either side of the bridge
  • the sturdy but o-so-slim bridge towers, and bridge base
  • the driving mechanism with worm gear and slip gear: it will simply not break
  • the plentiful SNOT application, including the housing of the gears: panels to house a 24 teeth slip gear in a slender 4 wide housing!
  • fun details like the mooring-dolphins (black poles in the water) and the Amsterdam city logo : three red crosses in a white pole.
  • True to life foundation on both quays and bridge heads: the quays are built on brown poles ('Amsterdam was built on stilts') and the bridge heads on 1960's concrete. The bridge can be removed easily from its base; neat for play and instalment in your city layout, but also to show the fascinating foundations
  • A model of a tour boat, cargo bike, paddle boarder and pedestrians enlive the model and show the real Amsterdam vibe.
  • New: two sides connected: drive one bridge and both will open and close
  • New: use the bridge either as one entire setup, or disonnect bridge halve and use them independantly from oneanother.

And all that packed in a model that's sturdy enough you could even let 'that little nephew' play with it.
A sneak preview in the sturdy SNOT bridge base

Fun detail is to be found in the mechanics: the real bridge has the white beams and its counterweight being driven and with that lifting the bridge deck. This LEGO model does it the other way around: the bridge deck is operated from its base. The white beams and counter weight are kept in place with the chains. So here the deck lets the white beams move.


Piece count 2.216
Width 37.6 cm
Depth 28.2 cm
Height 18.7 cm (the bridge itself 17.1 cm from the waterline)

Wrap up and time to vote

So, if you like to (re)live a piece of Amsterdam, please let me know what you think of this model. Don't forget to vote of course.

Give it a go, and see how it opens yourself by clicking this video.

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