From Harbours to Highrises

“Ams­ter­dam is a city with a har­bour, Rot­ter­dam is a har­bour with a city”, goes a pop­u­lar say­ing. How­ev­er, the port of Rot­ter­dam has been shift­ing away from the city for sev­er­al decades, leav­ing behind half-desert­ed areas close to the cen­tre. These urban gaps offer spa­tial poten­tial which is used in dif­fer­ent ways: the urban­ist approach varies from rad­i­cal top­down rein­ven­tion to more grad­ual bot­tom-up tran­si­tions. The Eras­mus bridge, icon of chang­ing Rot­ter­dam, leads to Kop van Zuid, a for­mer har­bour area. The devel­op­ments on the south bank final­ly give a cen­tral posi­tion to the riv­er Maas with­in the city. Now the project is near­ing com­ple­tion, and gen­tri­fi­ca­tion is extend­ing to the adjoin­ing Katen­drecht penin­su­la, which used to be the red light dis­trict of Rot­ter­dam. High­light on the penin­su­la are the Fenix Lofts: the trans­for­mati­no and top­ping-up of an old ware­house with apartments.

On this tour you’ll vis­it the har­bour con­ver­sion area with its mix of old ware­hous­es and res­i­den­tial high­ris­es as well as self-build projects in a gen­tri­fi­ca­tion area.

Pre­vi­ous slide
Next slide

Programme: From Harbours to Highrises

  • Expla­na­tions about his­to­ry and future of the trans­formed har­bour peninsula

  • Eras­mus bridge (UNStu­dio, 1996)

  • Wil­helmi­napi­er, incl. De Rot­ter­dam (OMA, 2013), Lux­or The­atre (Bolles & Wil­son, 2000), high­rise New Orleans (Alvaro Siza, 2010), ware­house Las Pal­mas (Van den Broek en Bake­ma, 1953 / Ben­them Crouwel, 2010), cruise ter­mi­nal (Van den Broek en Bake­ma, 1948), warehouse/hotel Pakhuis­meesteren (1941/AWG, 2018)
  • Float­ing Office: world’s first float­ing office build­ing with tim­ber con­struc­tion (Pow­er­house Com­pa­ny, 2022)
  • Walk across Rijn­haven bridge (Quist Win­ter­mans, 2014) to Katendrecht
  • Ware­house top-up Fenix Lofts (Mei Archi­tects, 2019)
  • Immi­grant’s muse­um with look­out on the roof (MAD Archi­tects, 2025)

More Tours in Rotterdam