De Rotterdam: OMA and the biggest building in the Netherlands


We just received this from OMA: After almost 12 years in the boards, OMA announced that the De Rotterdam complex will enter construction during December 2009, expecting completion in 2013.

Tree stacked towers with a total height of 150m, will result on a gross floor area of approximately 160,000m2, making De Rotterdam the largest building in the Netherland, with a total cost of €340m.

The mixed-use program (offices, apartments, a hotel, conference facilities, gym, shops, restaurants, and cafes) and the resulting density make this project a vertical city, located in the old harbour district of Wilhelminapier, next to the iconic Erasmus bridge.


“The towers are part of the ongoing redevelopment of Wilhelminapier, and aim to reinstate the vibrant urban activity – trade, transport, leisure – once familiar to the neighbourhood. De Rotterdam is named after one of the ships on the Holland America Line, which used to depart from the Wilhelminapier in decades past, carrying thousands of Europeans emigrating to the US.”
YouTube Preview Image

A project this big during crisis? sees this as an opportunity: “one of the positive outcomes of the economic crisis is the drop in the cost of materials and construction, which has given new energy to long running projects like this one.”

The project is led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon and Reinier de Graaf and the associate in charge is Kees van Casteren.

All images © OMA

Cite: Basulto, David. "De Rotterdam: OMA and the biggest building in the Netherlands" 10 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Travis

    the website also has an video…complete with “stylish” music…

    • David Basulto [tricky]

      Thanks! I added the video to the post.

  • Travis

    a video

  • 16:08:78

    De Rotterdam: More of the same…. the little building a side, looks more interesting, although the diagonal column seems unnecessary….

    • Marcus Des

      That little building is the KPN Telecom Building by Renzo Piano, it’s been there for a decade and it will be totally dwarfed by “the largest building in the Netherlands” designed by the largest ego amongst Starchitects, Rem Koolhaas. Who couldn’t be bothered to think up something new and appropriate.

  • viniruski

    This project is so old skool. SMLXL.

  • lorebini

    In my opinion good projects never get old. I always loved this project and I believe Wilhelminapier has been missing ‘De Rotterdam’. It also give fantastic vibes to find out that it’s never over with architecture… a project can go on site after 12 years in the drawer!

  • Lasse

    I don’t see why it has to be so big?

    At some point I fear the mixed programs will stop bennefitting from each other and the tensions between them becomes irrelevant to the city.

  • FLW

    celebrating Mies

  • medusa

    I guess that we should be allowed to repeat ourselves when something we did in the past could not happen or was not built. Koolhaas has already tried and succeed on this strategy. Just remember Porto’s Casa do Musica or the several tries OMA did with the Cardiff Opera project.
    OMA has been playing with the idea of the building as a city for more than 20 years. Somehow is good that finally they are able to build that concept with this relatively calm collection of Mies and SOM buildings stacked in Rotterdam’s riverfront. But take a look at their Hague City Hall competition. 22 years ago. And the original is still better.
    Oh… but it’s the biggest building in Rotterdam… seems that size matters…

  • philopian

    This may be an old project from S,M,L,XL, but does that necessarily mean it is worthy of being built? I tend to disagree. This building is about being BIG and nothing more and says more about our ego-driven profession than anything else. While I applaud Rotterdam’s architectural prowess, they will probably regret ever having given the okay to construct this poop!
    Slabtastic architecture, with Russia in mind!

  • Robert

    While Rotterdam is said to be the architectural city of The Netherlands where there is space to be creative and extreme with buildings this is really just nothing else than a skyscraper where Godzilla leaned against. Nothing special and waste of money.

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  • matt

    that animation is so Crystal!

  • mike

    this is a piece of garbarge again by OMA….for every one hit they have, they have about 10 misses….but city councils just like talking about the big architect who designed their new building blah blah blah when they all go for drinks in their private cigar room bars….its like SOM on top of each other…..

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