The genealogy of the Skyline
Within the Dutch context Rotterdam, thanks in part to the high-rise buildings, has managed to establish a powerful urban image. Globalising processes, however, also place Rotterdam on a level with other European cities where high-rise construction has long since ceased to be an exception. In the Netherlands, too, Rotterdam has lost its exclusive rights to high-rise structures and many cities, both within and outside the Randstad conurbation, have discovered the potential of the skyline. The exclusive status that Rotterdam enjoys is under pressure and consideration of the high-rise policy is necessary. The slogan 'High-rise, there's no alternative!' is obsolete and it is time to make more subtle distinctions and address the more specific question of what type of high-rise city does Rotterdam wish to become. With this question the quantitative ambitions can evolve into an actual high-rise culture. now that scores of towers appear to be in the pipeline the call for a coordinating concept is more pregnant than ever before If Rotterdam wishes to avoid sinking into oblivion in the struggle with its competitors for prominence.
This design for nine towers explores the programmatic and typological implications of a future high-rise culture for Rotterdam. Far more than just high buildings these towers are signals in the public domain of the skyline. The design study develops a specific high-rise design language that is not guided by an architectural grammar, but one that focuses on the seductive power of the object. Inspiration is not derived from examples in architecture but rather from the field of industrial design. In addition the programmatic potential of high-rise is still relatively virgin territory. Why should urban programmes such as parking and recreation be excluded from the high-rise domain? In this way the parking towers, occupying a minimum surface area, offer parking facilities for more than 2000 cars. The crematorium offers relatives the opportunity of keeping eye contact with their much-loved deceased who are buried in de skyline.
in cooperation with
Hospital, crematorium, park, houses with garden, apartments, offices, container terminal, car park
Initiative Urban Affairs, financed by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture