Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
max62 – A Nuilding* in Rotterdam, Netherlands by Maxwan
August 14th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Maxwan
* NUILDING is pronouncesd as newl-ding
I look out of the window of our office on de 5th floor of a sixties 50.000 m2 mail-order storage facility. I’m only 20 meters tall but almost nothing blocks my view. I can clearly see the cars on the lifted A20 highway, 500 meters from here, as it cuts through the surrounding industrial area. Further ahead of me stand the 3 Europoint Towers. A bit to the left, the infamous Rotterdam skyline, that somehow only impresses when seen from the Brienenoord-bridge shortly after sundown, during rush-hour, if the sky is partly cloudy … Immediately below and in front of me i see only roofs of halls. It seems that during the time this area was developed all work was done in 6 m high spaces.
Computers were supposed to make paper redundant, but they turned out to produce more than they replaced. Former VJ Adam Curry has announced that he wants to build a 50.000 m2 storage facility for pay-per-view video servers. Technologies that are essentially tiny turn out to be in need of large amounts of space. He doesn’t mind so much where it is built, but experts say that the best site is next to a power-plant: the video-dump has a demand for 100 MW of capacity, the same as Haarlem, NL’s 5th city. There obviously is some Newconomy, but where is it happening and how much space does it really need?
Immediately above our heads, on the 6th, 7th and 8th floor, the building is rented out to a selection of ComTech Corporations. No one ever goes up there. Under raised floorboards 1000’s of meters of cable teem between the installed equipment and the main stems in the stairwells. The rest of the building is occupied by an un-unifiable group of different users: restaurant, storage space, hairdresser, sandwich king, Italian B-fashion, an architect, silk flowers, scaffolding, crawl-space-research, marble showroom.
Its owner has now approached us with a request to make plans for a 30 million euro, 50.000 m2 container for cars and computers. For its power supply, it relies on an inbuilt 40 MW power plant. Excess electricity and heat will be sold to a neighboring hospital. The Nuilding is a container-buiding developed within this new context. This 50.000m2 server-hotel / anonymous storage / office tower is wrapped in a car-mall skin. The saw-teeth like facade reflects the carefully located cars to convince the stranded drivers during the evening traffic jam of their next buy.
The lobby is raised at highway level and covers a 40 MW power plant. The tower is carefully sculptured to update the Rotterdam skyline.