Rotterdam's downtown revival
Two highly anticipated housing developments are set to open in the next two years that should also appeal to travellers, not just for their innovative designs but also as food, entertainment and accommodations destinations. Rem Koolhaas (the renowned Dutch architect who designed Manhattan’s futuristic-looking Prada boutique and Porto’s uber-angular concert hall Casa da Musica), is spearheading the creation De Rotterdam, a three-pronged, mostly glass waterside tower in Wilhelminapier near the Erasmus Bridge, dubbed a vertical city for its multipurpose use. It is set to house apartments, office space, a hotel, a fitness centre and various restaurants and bars. The other housing development, Markthal, located in Blaak square just steps from Blom’s cube houses, will also include apartments of various price points tucked into the building’s semi-circle exterior. The apartments will surround the main market hall, home to various vendors of meat, cheese, wine and flowers – a space destined to become the city’s foodie haven.
Both the De Rotterdam and Markthal projects are looking to achieve something that is vital to the Making City initiative. By introducing all-purpose outlets where attractive housing options share space with shopping facilities in the same address where residents might be working, De Rotterdam and Markthal could be creating fantastic places to frequent – and live.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the architect who built the Erasmus Bridge.