The construction of the railway and the construction of the Koningshaven marks a historic moment in the economic and spatial development of Rotterdam. Although the railway bridge across the Nieuwe Maas has since been replaced by a tunnel, the original trajectory is easily traceable through the remaining embankment on the North Island and the railway lift bridge over the Koningshaven. The bridgehead on the river Maas (monumental status together with the railway dike and lift bridge) offers from a good height a view on the busiest shipping routes in Europe. However, the quality of this place is at present insufficient to appreciate its historical significance and magic to the fullest.
In this proposal the existing height between the landing and the railway dike is bridged by steps of polyester concrete. This creates a raised auditorium for 150 people overlooking the Nieuwe Maas and the north bank. At the lowest level is an abstract map of the river and the railway line engraved in the concrete, including the indication that this location is 1000 km away from the source of the river. The auditorium is accessible through small steps where also the lighting is located. The existing fence (which was originally not part of the bridge) is replaced by a glass plate, allowing the view of the river not to be disturbed. The possible use of the auditorium is very diverse. It is a good location for a first introduction to the history of the city, both for individuals and groups of tourists. It can also occasionally be programmed with music and theater, in possible relation with activities in the adjacent park. But it is mainly a place for contemplation and inspiration for visitors and residents of the Noordereiland.
The auditorium will have a direct connection to the river Maas by a sculptural, corten steel staircase. Seen from the Maaskade the stairs frame the railway lift bridge and invite to visit the railway dike. Once up a grateful perspective on the dike, the lift bridge and the park is awaiting. Then the eyes are rotated and the perspective of the river and the city unfolds. On one of the steps the word "south" is carved. This makes the stairs work like a compass needle indicating the location in the world and the historical significance of this intersection of water and rail.