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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. MVRDV Wins Competition for Bay-Window-Inspired Mixed-Use Towers in Rotterdam

MVRDV Wins Competition for Bay-Window-Inspired Mixed-Use Towers in Rotterdam

MVRDV Wins Competition for Bay-Window-Inspired Mixed-Use Towers in Rotterdam
MVRDV Wins Competition for Bay-Window-Inspired Mixed-Use Towers in Rotterdam, © MVRDV

MVRDV has been selected as the winner of a competition for The Sax, a 51-story mixed-use tower in Rotterdam’s Wilhelminapier port development. The building will add a total of 82,000 square meters (882,000 square feet) of residences, retail spaces and commercial facilities across two towers, the Philadelphia & the Havana, connected halfway up by a bridge containing a 150-room hotel.

Located on the south side of Wilhelminapier, the Sax will become one of the last residential buildings to rise within a new development on the historic harbor, one of the city’s most popular areas. The building’s recognizable pixelated silhouette and waterfront siting will give the building an immediate presence on the Rotterdam skyline, recently coined the “Manhattan On the Maas.”

© MVRDV © WAX Architectural Visualisations © WAX Architectural Visualisations © MVRDV + 5

© WAX Architectural Visualisations
© WAX Architectural Visualisations

On top of the shorter of the two towers, at 70 meters high, the gold clad hotel bar will offer impressive views of the Nieuwe Maas and city. On top of the hotel, at 80 meters high, a public terrace will allow everyone to experience the views and the building for themselves. Inside both towers (the taller of which tops out at 150 meters), 450 apartment units have been arranged with their main rooms facing the bay-windowed facade, flooding each unit with ample light.


“Rotterdam is more and more a city of towers and The Sax will add a new element to this collection,” said Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV. “The façade features a contemporary reinterpretation of the bay window, providing views for each unit with the advantage of allowing individual and unique apartments in this large collective complex. This windowed effect adds an extra dimension in experiencing the view onto Rotterdam. The plinth and the bridge which contains a hotel will be open to the public making Wilheminapier even more lively.”


The towers will be connected at the base by an activated plinth featuring numerous commercial facilities including restaurants, shops, bars, cafes and a wellness center, bringing diverse public amenities to the streets and quays.

“It reads like a vertical city but is also strongly rooted in contributing to the public life of the Kop van Zuid,” explain MVRDV.

“The Sax is a building designed in rhythm with the city. It represents musicality, character and elegance, but also variation and improvisation. It also stands for the rough and unpolished; a raw tone; all metaphors echoing its historic port location from which a brand new building emerges as a new soundwave for Rotterdam.”

© WAX Architectural Visualisations
© WAX Architectural Visualisations

MVRDV collaborated with ARUP on the structure, façade design and sustainability of The Sax. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018 with a completion date set for the end of 2022.

News via MVRDV.

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About this author
Patrick Lynch
Cite: Patrick Lynch. "MVRDV Wins Competition for Bay-Window-Inspired Mixed-Use Towers in Rotterdam" 12 Jul 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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