Rotterdam: The Latest Architecture and News
“Understanding precedes action.” That is the motto of the Urban Observatory, an interactive installation and web app created by TED founder Richard Saul Wurman that compiled a wide range of urban data for over 150 cities, allowing users to compare various characteristics of those cities – from population density to traffic speed limits – side-by-side. Urban Observatory was first created in 2013, a banner year for news about urban big data; later that same year, Waag made headlines with its interactive map visualising the age of every building in the Netherlands. The emergence of such platforms allowed people to see the world around them in new ways.
With the rise of Google Earth and other GIS tools, and platforms like envelope.city, or environmental simulations based on digital twin models of cities, urban big data has quietly come to underpin a wide range of tools used by professionals who shape our cities, with both the amount of data collected and the influence it has over decision-making expanding dramatically. However, these advances typically happen behind closed doors and in undemocratic spaces. How long must we wait for software that has all the user-friendliness, accessibility, and appeal of those older platforms, but which provides the average person with the tools to shape their city? In other words, if “understanding precedes action”, then why after almost a decade are we not seeing big-data-driven apps that encourage the public to actually do something?
"It’s About Time", the 10th Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Looks at the Past and Future 50 years of Climate Change
It’s About Time, the 10th edition of the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale, is a seven-week-long manifestation showing realistic courses toward a livable future at a time when the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent. Half a century ago, the consequences of climate change were predicted in The Limits of Growth report from 1972. This outlines the possible consequences of an exponential increase in population, agricultural production, and resource extraction. The report is viewed by many as the beginning of environmental awareness. The Rotterdam Architecture Biennale aims to bring these changes into perspective by looking both at the past and the possible future.
The Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, opens The Energy Show and the Solar Biennale on Friday, September 9, 2022. In collaboration with The Solar Biennale designer and curator Matylda Krzykowski and solar designers Marjan van Aubel and Pauline van Dongen, the exhibition presents a series of projects that explores the sun's meaning and possibilities in society, the environment, and design. With Europe in the midst of an energy crisis, The Energy Show and the Solar Biennale is an opportunity for designers and the general public to examine the transition to solar energy and technology as we move towards a post-carbon future.
HA-HA, in partnership with BIK Bouw and Wooncompas Housing, will develop four social housing blocks for the community of Ridderkerk, near Rotterdam, Netherlands. The project uses materials from the existing social housing estate, built in the 1950s, and employs an innovative modular-timber system to create sustainable human-centered housing. The old buildings are planned to be disassembled and their components reused and integrated into the new development, which will increase the number of affordable units by 13%.
Powerhouse Company, Atelier Oslo and Lundhagem Win the Competition for the Rotterdam Central Library
The City of Rotterdam has selected Powerhouse Company, Atelier Oslo, Lundhagem to renew and extend the city’s Central Library, a landmark building from the early 1980s designed by Van den Broek & Bakema. The new design adopts the concept of radical reuse in order to transform a 1980s building into a contemporary library, well-adapted to the necessities of modern users. The team combines the expertise of Powerhouse Company, Atelier Oslo, and Lundhagem, the latter two offices being awarded in 2021 with the Public Library of the Year Award for their design of Oslo!s Deichman library. Construction is expected to begin in 2025 and be completed by the end of 2028, the year marking the building!s 45th anniversary.
Designed by Rotterdam Rooftop Days and MVRDV, the Rotterdam Rooftop Walk has finally opened to the public. The installation offers visitors a new perspective on the city, with a 30-meter-high aerial bridge that spans across a variety of the city’s rooftops, from the roof of The Bijenkorf department store to the top of the World Trade Centre plinth. The project aims to showcase how rooftops can provide an added layer of public infrastructure in a dense city where public space is scarce. Rotterdam Rooftop Walk is open from May 26 to June 24 from 10:00 to 20:00.
Omnam Group (OMNAM) and ODA have shared the progress of their restoration and reinvention project of the historic post office, POST Rotterdam. Demolition began on Postkantoor in October 2021, and since then, the east facade, which is known as the Rodezand wing, has been excavated, revealing the location of the project's future plaza, which will transform a loading dock into a new gateway for the people of Rotterdam.
Setting the stage for Rotterdam Architecture Month this upcoming June, MVRDV have designed a temporary rooftop platform on the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. The 600-square-meter event space titled The Podium will be elevated 29 meters and covered with a striking pink color, making it visible to all pedestrians on ground level. The installation will open to the public on June 1st, coinciding with the inauguration of the Rotterdam Architecture Month Festival, and will continue to be used for events until August 17th.
Amman, Bogota, and Freetown Among the 15 Winning Cities of the 2021 Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Mayors Challenge
Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the 15 winning innovations of its 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge. Hailing from six continents, the chosen projects "seek improvements in the areas of economic recovery and inclusive growth, health and well-being, climate and environment, and gender and equality". The winning cities include Istanbul, Rotterdam, Butuan, and Wellington, and will all receive $1 million and external support to develop their programs.
Last year, a series of new museums, expansions and several museum renovations have opened their doors to the public, adding a new dimension to the cultural landscape around the world. From the long-awaited re-opening of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, to Ryue Nishizawa's Jining Art Museum merging with the landscape, and MVRDV's reflective Art Depot, discover the architecture of the latest venues of art and culture.
Hosted at the top floor of Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the “MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive” exhibition showcases 30 years of MVRDV’s work, looking into the design philosophy of each project and future visions. The exhibition, which sits right next to the firm's latest project, the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, highlights the creative process behind each project, how they were developed, and the challenges of preserving their materials and approaches for future generations.
MVRDV revealed its design for a temporary intervention that takes tourists and city dwellers on a walk across several rooftops in Rotterdam, highlighting an untapped potential for expanding the public realm. Created in collaboration with Rotterdam Rooftop Days, the project will feature an aerial bridge from the roof of The Bijenkorf department store to the top of the World Trade Centre plinth and will be available to the public from May 26 to June 24 2022, during Rotterdam Architecture Month.