MVRDV presented its design for a temporary intervention, which takes tourists and city dwellers across several Rotterdam rooftops. This highlights the untapped potential to expand the public realm. The project was created in collaboration with Rotterdam Rooftop Days. It will include an aerial bridge that connects the World Trade Centre plinth to The Bijenkorf department shop.
The Rotterdam Rooftop walk will start alongside Koopgoot, a sunken shopping street. From there, staircases will take visitors to a series rooftop terraces. They will see demonstrations and educational displays as part of the project, which offers companies and non-profit organizations the chance to showcase innovations in greening, energy generation and water storage. This path will allow access to the De Bijenkorf Department Store Complex’s open patios, which Marcel Breuer designed in 1957. From there, staircases will take visitors back to ground.
This project will show how rooftops can be used to provide additional infrastructure in dense urban areas where there is limited public space. MVRDV had previously tried this type of rooftop intervention in 2016. In 2016, the Stairs of Kriterion installation was installed. This temporary staircase led to the roof of a Rotterdam building. It attracted over 365,000 people in just four weeks.
We wanted to do a follow up with stairs and bridges after the Stairs. This would allow us to see a wider range of rooftops and make it possible for us to envision a second layer, or a structure above the rooftops. We had planned to do it during Eurovision Song Contest and then we would celebrate the winners with an opera-like arrangement. This plan was canceled due to the coronavirus. But it is possible now. Rotterdam Rooftop Days is a great city and I believe this project will be realized. – MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas
Rotterdam, which was largely rebuilt after WWII, has 18.5 kilometres of flat roofs that are mostly unoccupied. This area holds the potential to create a multi-layered urban environment and allow the city’s growth inward. MVRDV and Rotterdam Rooftop Days teamed up to produce the Rooftop Catalogue. This collection of 130 ideas makes use of Rotterdam’s rooftops. It demonstrates how this untapped resource can be used to address issues like land scarcity, climate change, and energy production, as well as fostering a vibrant urban environment.