Multi-use buildings #3 – The Rotterdam building

Half a century after Maaskant designed his multi-use building in Rotterdam, OMA drew up the plans for the next generation of grand scale ´vertical city´. ´De Rotterdam´ is located at the Wilhelminapier, in the heart of an old harbor and redevelopment site know as Kop van Zuid. The vertical city connects to a square, together with several old warehouses, and on the other side it has a waterfront plinth with restaurants and bars. The function mix consists of offices, dwellings, gastronomy, hotel, leisure, retail and parking space.

The main reason behind the delay (the building was designed in 1998 and is scheduled for completion end of 2013), was that in a medium size city like Rotterdam it´s extremely difficult to guarantee users for a building with 43 floors and 160.000 square meters of floor space. In a polemic but successful attempt to save the project, the Municipality decided to move its own administration to the building and hereby guarantee a lease of 25.000 m2. Interestingly, the same move was made in the 1970´s, in order to make the Europoint complex happen, designed by SOM. Like many parts of The Netherlands at present, Europoint and the surrounding Marconiplein area is now struggling with vacancy.

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