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Amsterdam's Zuidas has something of a dual character. Colossal offices on the south side of the A10, and terraced houses on the north side. In the middle there is a building from the 1970s, designed as an office, that is used as a school and which we are bringing back to its original function. However, it will become the 'best-in-class office building', because the city, neighbourhood, location and building demand this. We felt duty-bound to do this.
The Baankwartier is a small corner of Rotterdam city centre that seems to be a little overlooked. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The Cool neighbourhood, of which the Baankwartier is part, has been designated as part of the high-rise city. In the place where the relics of the reconstruction determine the streetscape, the skyline of Rotterdam will be enhanced with the Cooltoren. The tower is so much more than apartments stacked up to the maximum construction height. It connects the various heights in its environment, on a large and small scale. The ‘Rotterdam layer’ and the frequently used construction height of around 70 metres are therefore very decisive, and naturally the base and top of the tower. Differentiating the building volume at these specific heights inextricably links the Cooltoren to the urban fabric and the Rotterdam skyline.
The Westblaak in Rotterdam is a bustling street. Wide, filled with cars, and challenging to cross. However, it's one of the first streets where the desire for a softer and more 'playable' city center is evident through a pavilion at the head of a skatepark, right in the middle of the lanes. It serves as a precursor to the future Blaakpark. It's logical that even the nine-to-five office buildings are under scrutiny, a transformation into residences has become a feasible option. This design architecturally bridges the past and the present.