Rotterdam is "The City of the Future" Say Architects

  • 2016-04-21
  • DeZeen

Landmark buildings and experimental construction are transforming the Netherlands' second city into a world-class destination for architectural innovation, outstripping other European centres and turning Amsterdam into "the city of the past".

In the last two years Rotterdam's cityscape has seen the arrival of several major buildings, from MVRDV's colossal market hall to OMA's towering De Rotterdam hotel and office block and the new railway station by Benthem Crouwel, MVSA and West 8.

But it has also established itself as a hub for new building technologies, home to studios experimenting with floating architecture, robotic construction, wind power, lighting innovation and 3D printing.

All this despite having been one of the worst-bombed cities during the second world war, when most of the city centre was reduced to rubble.

"The city has had a remarkable turnaround in the last 20 years, and architecture is playing a big part in it," said Reinier de Graaf, who grew up in Rotterdam and is a partner at OMA, which has been based in the city since Rem Koolhaas established the firm in 1975.

"It is becoming a centre for architecture," he told Dezeen.