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.
Rieteiland-Oost was developed as a villa island on the new housing development (Vinex) neighbourhood of IJburg. Free-standing houses on expensive plots. This led to houses in the urban plan that are close to each other, but this density is adequately compensated with a public space with a high-quality design around a ‘dune’ theme. Our client decided to move with his family from the city centre of Amsterdam to a plot with its own private pier on the waterside of this island. We were asked to design their dream home here - a robust beach house.
The land next to the Hulstkamp Building on the Maaskade on Rotterdam’s Noordereiland has been waiting to be filled since 1892. A variety of circumstances meant it was not possible until now to construct an appropriate building here. Four luxury apartments will now be built on and around the low-rise building next to the Hulstkamp Building. It is a sensitive project, in a sensitive location. Maaskade is an urban conservation area, and the Hulstkamp Building is a nationally listed building.
“De Klokkenwoning” is located on the Rodenrijseweg in Berkel. This is a monumental farmhouse from 1852 that owes its name to the clock on the drawbridge, which is one of the few drawbridges that still exist in Berkel. For the owner of the farmhouse, we created a special plan to restore the monumental farmhouse that had become dilapidated to its former glory and to create extra homes on the grounds, while retaining its historical character.
Nieuw Hoboken, designed by the well-known Rotterdam architect Herman Bakker, was built in 1974 as an office building, deserves better. It continues to be a distinctively burly ‘seventies’ building, but no longer is no longer appropriate for these times or this site. A closed ground floor facade and a monofunctional office building in a residential neighbourhood were signals for the new owner to consider redevelopment.
Built in 1960 to serve temporarily as a town hall, and then used for years as a workshop and studio, the building was transformed into a residential building in 2018. The original building has a fascinating modernist and no-nonsense appearance but does little in terms of urban planning to make this part of the inner city more interesting. This is where the challenge lay for us, namely, to retain the DNA of the building and the character of the south side of the city centre as post-war reconstruction architecture and create a second reconstruction that provides a quality boost for Arnhem.