The brief requests a mixed-use building that will be the most sustainable in the Netherlands, and one that will incorporate an adjacent protected building from the 1950s.
OMA's design adheres to the most ambitious energy efficiency requirements but also considers the full lifespan of the building – from construction to manipulation to reuse. The building is composed of a repeated and flexible structural system – a concept that delivers sustainability (notably through speed of construction) and a sturdy yet changeable, intriguing form.
The new building will be located in central Rotterdam behind the existing city hall and post office. Proposals from five competing architectural firms are on display at the NAi until 13 September for a period of public feedback.
OMA is working in collaboration with ABT and Werner Sobek Green Technolgies.
Statement by Rem Koolhaas on OMA's Stadskantoor proposal:
What does Rotterdam really need?
After an impressive sequence of abrupt architectural transitions – from the stark modernity of the reconstruction, via the "new humanism" of the cubes, the repressed postmodern of the 90s to the current apotheosis of Dutch modernity – launched by the fireworks of the 1940 bombardment, all these ideologies coexist and interact in harsh juxtaposition, each successive layer oblivious and in contradiction to the previous ones.
What is now needed may be subtlety and ambiguity in the midst of an overdose of form. We propose a "formless" heap, consisting of smaller elements that are shaped to perform a number of major and minor responsibilities.
Where necessary the shape can be formal and impressive, almost symmetrical – for instance, from the Coolsingel, glimpsed between the two survivors – and where desired, it can be delicate and accommodating – for instance in its relationship with the existing monument, Stadstimmerhuis.
Our structural system – a three dimensional Vierendeel structure in steel – enables us to improvise and to liberate the ground almost in its entirety, to interpret the "Stadswinkel" as an unencumbered public space, in which we arrange the interaction between citizen and city in a dignified, spacious urban landscape, with an almost "Roman" scale and materiality.
Budget: €65 million
Site: 6 hectares located behind town hall, including the municipal monument Stadstimmerhuis
Program: Total 48.400m2. Stadswinkel XL: 8.700m2, municipal offices: 15.700m2, residential 10.400m2, additional public spaces 3.400m2, retail 1.600m2, parking 8.600m2.
Total floors: 20, of which 3 underground
Maximum height: 63m
Partners in charge: Rem Koolhaas and Reinier de Graaf
Project Manager: Mark Veldman
Competition Team: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf, Mark Veldman, Pascual Bernad, Vilhelm Christensen, Alessandro De Santis, Katrien van Dijk, Jake Forster, Alasdair Graham, Mendel Robbers, Dirk Peters, Tsuyoshi Nakamoto, Timur Shabaev, Yuri Suzuki, Milos Zivkovic.
Engineers Structure and MEP: ABT, Velp, The Netherlands
Sustainability Consultants: Werner Sobek Green Technologies, Stuttgart, Germany
Costs Consultants: PRC, Oosterbeek, The Netherlands
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