In increasingly denser urban environments, there is a new-found interest in underused spaces as opportunities for further development. Representing up to 25% of cities' land area, rooftops are among the most exciting spatial resources. From sustainable infrastructure and urban farming to social spaces and cultural venues, the article looks into the potential of creating a multi-layered city through the activation of urban rooftops.
Rotterdam: The Latest Architecture and News
Like natural systems, great architecture is the product of circular processes. For Jan Jongert, a founding partner and architect at Superuse Studios, sustainable design is rooted in a continuous cycle of creation and recreation, use and reuse. Viewing re-use as a circular design strategy, the studio is developing strategies for cities to connect different flows and integrate these systems into the existing urban environment.
Architecture and design practice Mecanoo has created a new vision for an iconic Maritime Center along the Rijnhaven in Rotterdam. Located in the middle of the water, the project includes an undulating, organic building form made to contrast with the industrial nature of the surrounding port. Partly underwater, the design features a triple helix and is made as a place for maritime entrepreneurs, science and culture.
A new masterplan and building scheme has been designed for the Codrico Factory and Rijnhaven in Rotterdam. With the overall plan created by Powerhouse Company in collaboration with developer RED Company, the proposal includes a series of buildings by Mecanoo, SHoP Architects, Office Winhov and Crimson Architectural Historians. Called the "Codrico Terrain", the project aims to celebrate local industrial heritage and embrace change for the future.
MAD Architects has broken ground on the firm's first cultural project in Europe, the FENIX Museum of Migration in Rotterdam. Commissioned by the Droom en Daad Foundation, the project builds on the history of the Fenix warehouse, once the largest warehouse in the world. MAD’s renovation of the warehouse aims to connect the history of Rotterdam with the city's present culture.
Natural Swimming Pools and an Airport City Master Plan: 10 Unbuilt Projects Submitted by our Readers
Focusing on diversity, this curated selection of the Best Unbuilt Architecture showcases a multitude of functions. Submitted by our readers, the projects vary in scale, program, design, and representation. Coming from all over the world, many of these interventions are in progress, while others are still in conceptual phases.
Introducing innovative and out of the box ideas, this roundup includes a floating farm in the Netherlands, natural swimming pools in South Korea, a resort in Hungary, and a cascading museum extension in Armenia. Even more common functions such as a hotel in Vietnam, an infinity loop library in China, a mixed-use building in Iran, headquarters for Yandex in Russia, and a campus in Germany, present inventive approaches and intriguing imageries.
In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space.
OMA and LOLA Landscape Architects have revealed their design development for the New Feyenoord Stadium, in Rotterdam. Part of the Feyenoord City master plan, the scheme “has been optimized to ensure on-time and cost-effective delivery, while reinforcing its integrity as a vital iconic building”.