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…
In the architectural stomping ground that is Rotterdam, it’s no small task to design a building that actually stands out. But, according to The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, the recently completed De Rotterdam building manages to. Although the Koolhaas-designed structure, which houses offices, apartments and even a boutique hotel, may at first seem simple (simplistic, even), Wainwright praises how the shifting masses cleverly play tricks on your perception. The building is undoubtedly impressive, but is the unconventional envelope enough to distract from a bland-at-best interior? Read the rest of Wainwright’s critique here. evaluate
Architects: West 8, Benthem Crouwel Architects, MVSA Meyer en van Schooten Architecten
Location: Stationsplein 1, 3013 AJ Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Lead Architects: Jan Benthem, Marcel Blom, Adriaan Geuze, Jeroen van Schooten
Design Team: Arman Akdogan, Anja Blechen, Freek Boerwinkel, Amir Farokhian, Joost Koningen, Joost van Noort, Falk Schneeman, Daphne Schuit, Matthijs Smit (†), Andrew Tang, Wouter Thijssen, Joost Vos
Area: 50,000 sqm
Photographs: Jannes Linders, Skeyes
Architects: Mei Architecten en Stedenbouwers
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Design Team: Robert Winkel, Menno van der Woude, Martin van der Werf, Robert Platje, Pepijn Berghout, Ernst de Jager, Reshma Gopal, Daniel Beirâo, Ben de Lange and June Ho Kim
Client: Havensteder, Lingotto, BAM woningbouw
Consultant : Grontmij
Constructor: Pieters Bouwtechniek, Delft
Area: 3560.0 sqm
Photographs: Jeroen Musch
The post-war city centre of Rotterdam is ruled by commerce. Only five percent of the city’s inhabitants live in the centre, which is almost entirely occupied by highstreet fashion chains, fast food restaurants, and offices. After shop closing time, the shutters go down and the streets are deserted. The municipality would like to lure more inhabitants into the centre – but space for new residential buildings is scarce. So in recent years, a 1960s cinema and church had to make way for a huge new housing complex designed by Alsop Architects, and a residential tower by Wiel Arets was speedily attached to Marcel Breuer’s department store, De Bijenkorf. It was not until the municipality suggested forcing new housing high-rises into the green courtyards of the Lijnbaanhoven residential complex, designed in 1954 by Hugh Maaskant, that there were protests and the project had to be cancelled. For the time being, that is.
One densification project, however, tried not to destroy or debase the post-war building originally occupying its site. In many respects, the Karel Doorman residential high-rise could even be called the saviour of the old Ter Meulen department store. It might be rather uncommon for a valiant hero to crouch down on the shoulders of the little old lady he intends to rescue – but that’s more or less what happened here.
The 2013 Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR), which focuses around the theme, ‘Time Machine,’ is set to take place in the cinemas of LantarenVenster October 10-13. The event will all be about evaluating the past and dreaming about the future. This will be done with movies, lots of movies, in which ‘the world called city’ is the leading character. The festival will also hosts television series, debates and talk shows. More information after the break.
With the theme of ‘Urban by Nature’, the sixth edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam opens in May 2014 in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. With Dutch landscape architect Dirk Sijmons as the curator, IABR is calling for best practices from all over the world to support and substantiate the Biennale’s main exhibition’s narrative. Prospective participants who have designed or are designing concrete projects that deal with the relationship between man, nature and city, are invited to submit their applications by June 9, 2013. For more information, please visit here.
The Luchtsingel is a pedestrian footbridge in Rotterdam that is being realized by crowdfunding, an exciting new means of funding in which the public donates money via an online platform (essentially investing in an unrealized idea) in order to make a project reality. The Luchtsingel, which uses the slogan “the more you donate, the longer the bridge”, has resonated with the public imagination and surpassed its initial funding goals, becoming an important part of Rotterdam’s urban rejuvenation.
Read more about the unusual birth of this public bridge, after the break…