Rotterdam City Hall Competition Proposal by OMA

The City of Rotterdam held a competition for a mixed-use extension for the City Hall, accommodating public and administrative facilities and a residential program. The competition requests that the mixed-use building becomes “the most sustainable in the Netherlands”.

Five designs were presented by the City, and they will be on public display at the NAI until Sept 13th to receive public feedback, which can also be made through the website. The teams will present to the jury on Septh 23th, and the winner will be announced sometime in October.

The 5 finalists are: Claus en Kaan Architecten, Mecanoo Architecten, Meyer en van Schooten Architecten, OMA and SeARCH.

OMA shared with us their finalist entry, in collaboration with ABT and Werner Sobek Green Technolgies. The project adheres to the highest energy efficiency requirements, and it also considers a sustainable approach in terms of speed of construction and future flexibility of the building through a repeated and flexible structural system.

Images from the other proposals will be featured on another article. Rem Koolhaas’ statement and more images after the break.

What does Rotterdam really need?

After an impressive sequence of abrupt architectural transitions – from the stark modernity of the reconstruction, via the “new humanism” of the cubes, the repressed postmodern of the 90s to the current apotheosis of Dutch modernity – launched by the fireworks of the 1940 bombardment, all these ideologies coexist and interact in harsh juxtaposition, each successive layer oblivious and in contradiction to the previous ones.

What is now needed may be subtlety and ambiguity in the midst of an overdose of form. We propose a “formless” heap, consisting of smaller elements that are shaped to perform a number of major and minor responsibilities.

Where necessary the shape can be formal and impressive, almost symmetrical – for instance, from the Coolsingel, glimpsed between the two survivors – and where desired, it can be delicate and accommodating – for instance in its relationship with the existing monument, Stadstimmerhuis.

Our structural system – a three dimensional Vierendeel structure in steel – enables us to improvise and to liberate the ground almost in its entirety, to interpret the “Stadswinkel” as an unencumbered public space, in which we arrange the interaction between citizen and city in a dignified, spacious urban landscape, with an almost “Roman” scale and materiality.

- Rem Koolhaas

Project: Redevelopment Stadskantoor Rotterdam Status: Competition 2009 Client: Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Rotterdam (OBR)

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands Budget: €65 million Site: 6 hectares located behind town hall, including the municipal monument Stadstimmerhuis Program: Total 48.400m2. Stadswinkel XL: 8.700m2, municipal offices: 15.700m2, residential 10.400m2, additional public spaces 3.400m2, retail 1.600m2, parking 8.600m2. Total floors: 20, of which 3 underground Maximum height: 63m

Partners in charge: Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf Project Manager: Mark Veldman

Competition Team: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf, Mark Veldman, Pascual Bernad, Vilhelm Christensen, Alessandro De Santis, Katrien van Dijk, Jake Forster, Alasdair Graham, Mendel Robbers, Dirk Peters, Tsuyoshi Nakamoto, Timur Shabaev, Yuri Suzuki, Milos Zivkovic.

Engineers Structure and MEP: ABT, Velp, The Netherlands Sustainability Consultants: Werner Sobek Green Technologies, Stuttgart, Germany Costs Consultants: PRC, Oosterbeek, The Netherlands

About this author
Cite: David Basulto. "Rotterdam City Hall Competition Proposal by OMA" 03 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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