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Markthal Rotterdam / MVRDV

© Daria Scagliola+Stijn Brakkee
© Daria Scagliola+Stijn Brakkee

© Daria Scagliola+Stijn Brakkee © Ossip van Duivenbode © Daria Scagliola+Stijn Brakkee © Nico Saieh

Reimagining 448 Local Libraries in Moscow, One Space at a Time

SVESMI, an unassuming studio based in central Rotterdam, is at the center of a dauntingly complex project that may eventually see the renovation of 448 dilapidated and disused branch libraries in Moscow. Architects Anastassia Smirnova and Alexander Sverdlov balance their time between Rotterdam, which acts as their design studio, and Moscow from which, alongside architects Maria Kataryan and Pavel Rueda, they oversee the project at large. Faced by the potential challenge of reimagining over 450 public 'living rooms' spread across the Russian capital and demanding unusually high levels of spatial articulation and social understanding, the Open Library project is also unwinding the hidden narrative of Moscow’s local libraries.

Interior Collage - Dostoyevsky Library. Image © SVESMI Interior of Library - #127. Image © SVESMI Interior Collage - #185. Image © SVESMI Interior Collage - Library #127. Image © SVESMI

First Look: MVRDV Completes Largest Covered Market in the Netherlands

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Rotterdam’s very own, MVRDV has completed the Netherlands’ first covered market: the Markthal Rotterdam. Unlike any other market in the world, the Markthal presents a new urban hybrid that unites a market hall with housing. 

Within the hollow core of the 228-unit, “horseshoe-shaped” residential building is an expansive, 40-meter-tall public market, offering 96 fresh food stalls, 8 restaurants and supermarket. Colorful murals cover the arch’s vaulted interior, peering through the largest single glazed cable net facades in Europe, which enclose the market. 

This sense of transparency and openness was key, as the Markthal is the driving force to the rejuvenation of the Laurenskwartier area and hopes to attract thousands of visitors each year.

A look inside, after the break.

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh

Maarten Hajer Appointed as Chief Curator of 2016 Rotterdam Biennale

The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) has announced Maarte Hajer as the Chief Curator of IABR-2016-. Hajer, a professor of Public Policy at the University of Amsterdam and Director General of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, was selected for his proposed theme, "The Next Economy." More on Hajer's appointment after the break.

Dutch Architects Transform Rotterdam House Into Terraced "Urban Paradise"

Two Dutch designers, collectively known as HUNK-design, have transformed their 19th century top floor apartment into a "unique city paradise." Architect Bart Cardinaal and artist Nadine Roos, who have lived in parts of the house in central Rotterdam since their student years, have created a large outdoor terraced space amid the rooflines of a built up area. By demolishing the existing pitched roof, they have constructed what they describe as their "Cabrio apartment."

© Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer © Thomas Mayer

Erasmus University College in Rotterdam / Erick van Egeraat

© Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode © Ossip van Duivenbode

Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating "A Clockwork Jerusalem"

The British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale takes the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and explores the "mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse." The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how "these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes." To those who know the UK's architectural heritage, this cultural and social history is delivered in a way which feels strangely familiar, whilst uncovering fascinating hidden histories of British modernity that continue to resonate in the 21st century.

Harvard GSD Releases Video of Study Abroad Studio with Rem Koolhaas

"We encounter similarities and difference, but what we encounter more than anything else is how intensely all these seemingly stable elements are evolving in time. Sometimes with acceleration, sometimes with moments of stagnation, but actually they are constantly changing. So what seemed to be a look at the repertoire is actually turning into a look at how nothing is stable." - Rem Koolhaas

Rotterdam Unveils Mirrored, MVRDV-Designed Art Depot for Museumpark

The City of Rotterdam has unveiled MVRDV’s competition winning design for a new public art depot in Rotterdam’s Museumpark. Clad in a highly reflective glass, the cylindrical BREEAM Excellent-planned “Collection Building” will store the “precious art collection of Rotterdam” as well as offer commercial interior storage for private collectors. It is designed to expose the inter workings of a museum, winding visitors up a public route, past storage rooms and restoration workshops, to a rooftop exhibition space, sculpture garden and restaurant.

AD Classics: Kubuswoningen / Piet Blom

A popular tourist attraction and bizarre architectural experiment, the Kubuswoningen is located in the Oude Haven, the most historic section of Rotterdam’s port. Following the destruction of the Oude Haven during the Second World War, architect Piet Blom was asked to redevelop the area with architecture of character, presenting him the opportunity to apply his earlier cube housing exploration in Helmond to a more urban context.  Known for his desire to challenge conventions, Blom did not want the Kubuswoningen to resemble typical housing; he strived to dissolve the attitude that “a building has to be recognizable as a house for it to qualify as housing.”  During a time when the rebuilding of Rotterdam was pivotal, the Kubuswoningen served as an influential precedent for progressive and innovative architectural development.  

© Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd © Dirk Verwoerd

In OMA's De Rotterdam, Furniture Transforms 60-meters into Multi-Functional, Versatile Space

OMA's De Rotterdam, a project 15 years in the making, is designed to maximize the number of functions possible in 44 floors. In addition to shops, hotels and office space, this "vertical city" also contains apartments that use transformable furniture to pack a variety of uses into small spaces. Chairs double as wall art and sofas flip into beds, showing that a 60 square meter apartment is more versatile than we think. 

Developer Wim De Lathauwer explains, "Why would we only think in quantity of bedrooms and square meters, while many of these spaces are used only sporadically?...In The Netherlands we are simply not used to this way of thinking. De Rotterdam is the ideal project when it comes to maximizing the joy of every square meter. We deal with an audience who understands this and yearns for this extra quality. Even in the large apartments the office, wardrobe- and guest room are combined in one space. Actually, it is very logical.” You can see the dynamic furniture, designed by Clei Italia, in the video below. 

Read more about The Netherlands' largest building here

Erasmus Pavilion / Powerhouse Company + DeZwarteHond

© Christian van der Kooy
© Christian van der Kooy
  • Architects: Powerhouse Company, DeZwarteHond
  • Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Project Leader: Stefan Prins
  • Partners In Charge: Nanne de Ru, Willem Hein Schenk
  • Team : Sander Apperlo, Sybren Woudstra, Anja Lübke, Anne Larsen, Sijmen de Goede, Søren Harder Nielsen
  • Area: 1800.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Christian van der Kooy, Rene de Wit

© Rene de Wit © Christian van der Kooy © Christian van der Kooy © Christian van der Kooy

Unielocatie Zuiderpark / JHK Architecten

  • Architects: JHK Architecten
  • Location: Montessoriweg, 3083 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Project Management: ICSadviseurs
  • Main Contractor: Heddes Bouw & Ontwikkeling
  • Structural Engineer: C.A.E. Nederland
  • Building Services: Techniplan Adviseurs
  • Area: 22000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Jeroen Musch, Rhalda Jansen, Courtesy of JHK Architecten, Rein van der Zee

© Jeroen Musch © Rhalda Jansen © Jeroen Musch © Jeroen Musch

Het Buro De Bovenkamer / Krill Architecture + Christian Müller Architects

  • Architects: Krill Architecture , Christian Müller Architects
  • Location: Rochussenstraat 355, 3023 DL Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Project Architects: Harmen van de Wal, Christian Müller
  • Contributors: Arnold de Bruin, Barbara Costatino, Raimonda Cibayte, PaulPeter Kuper, Magdalena Merchan, Jiri Serek, Elena Vicente
  • Programmatic Concept : Het Observatorium, Greetje Hoitink en/and Krill architecture, met/with Hans Venhuizen, Michaela Stegerwald Architectuur, John van de Wetering Advies
  • Area: 1385.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Jeroen Musch

© Jeroen Musch © Jeroen Musch © Jeroen Musch © Jeroen Musch

B05 / NL Architects

  • Architects: NL Architects
  • Location: Boezemlaan, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Architects In Charge: Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Kamiel Klaasse
  • Project Architect: Sarah Möller
  • Area: 3600.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of NL Architects

Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects

B’ Tower / Wiel Arets Architects

© Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter
  • Architects: Wiel Arets Architects
  • Location: Hennekijnstraat 100, 3012 EB Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Design Team: Wiel Arets, Bettina Kraus, Carsten Hilgendorf, Joris van den Hoogen
  • Area: 15000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Jan Bitter

© Jan Bitter © Jan Bitter © Jan Bitter © Jan Bitter

Koolhaas on Place, Scale, and (De) Rotterdam

© Richard John Seymour
© Richard John Seymour

All images are from photographer Richard John Seymour,who caught Rem Koolhaas' recently completed De Rotterdam building on a broodingly foggy morning. 

At the opening of the newly constructed De Rotterdam building in his home city, Rem Koolhaas spoke at length about how this "vertical city" was designed to appear scaleless, despite its urban context. More about what Koolhaas had to say about the project and the city, after the break...

© Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour © Richard John Seymour