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It is not a building in the traditional sense, but a temporary circular climate system – a biotope – with an intense, sensory experience.
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.
In 2016, KPN decided to move its head office functions from The Hague to the KPN Toren on Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam. This building from 2000 by architect Renzo Piano is right next to the Erasmus Bridge and is known for its sloping facade. KPN wanted to add a sizeable publicly accessible programme and at the same time design all work and meeting places in accordance with KPN’s SMART technology.