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.
The Stairs, a red carpet to the reconstruction of the city in Rotterdam, Netherlands by MVRDV
April 15th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MVRDV
From mid-May to mid-June, Rotterdam is set to host a temporary new eye-catcher: a giant staircase with 180 steps leading from Stationsplein, outside Rotterdam Central Station’s entrance, to the top of the Groot Handelsgebouw, an iconic building in the city’s history. The scaffolding system is a nod to 75 years of rebuilding the city, which is celebrated this year with the cultural event ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city!’. The Stairs will be officially opened on 16th Mayby Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and will remain open until 12th June. Everyone is welcome to visit from 10:00 to 22:00. Admission is free.
The arrival of The Stairs follows the Rotterdam tradition of celebrating reconstruction milestones. Large cultural events often provide beautiful vantage points, such as the Euromast, which was built for the Floriade in 1960 and the cable cars on the Coolsingel for the reconstruction event C70. “Now we create a new lookout where people can enjoy the unique views of this newly built city. From the cranes in the harbour, to the new city centre, the North and Blijdorp Zoo. Fun for everyone,” says Anouk Estourgie of ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city!’.
The steps not only offer a progression of perspectives over the city as you climb, but also give access to the roof of the Groot Handelsgebouw. Once at the top, a temporary observation deck gives you the opportunity to overlook the entire city. Also on the roof is the former cinema Kriterion, popular in the 1960s, which will open specially for the event to offer a wide variety of films, debates and performances. Furthermore, visitors will be able to enjoy refreshment facilities and find out more about the city and its development at the information point for the cultural event ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city!’.
“I used to see Rotterdam from the Kriterion after the films and it gave an fantastic overview of the city” explains Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV. “The roof of the Groot Handelsgebouw, one of the best buildings of the reconstruction of the Netherlands, deserves to be used as a base for the next intensification of Rotterdam. The Stairs suggest that.”
At 29 metres tall and 57 metres long, The Stairs offer an impressive landmark for ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city!’. The scaffolding responds to the angles of the Rotterdam Central Station, connecting the contemporary icon with a historic monument, whilst through its construction referencing the reconstruction that the city has experienced.
“The Stairs aim to animate the rooftop and to imagine a second layer in the next step of Rotterdam’s urban planning. A second reconstruction.” Tells Winy Maas. “It would be good to make it a permanent fixture.”
MVRDV was founded in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. The practice realises studies and projects in the fields of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. Proejcts of MVRDV include Markthal in Rotterdam, the Dutch Pavilion for the World Expo in Hannover, the Boekenberg in Spijkenisse, the Flight Forum business park in Eindhoven, the Matsudai cultural centre and the Gyre shopping centre in Japan, the Mirador and Celosia living complex in Madrid and the Silodam and the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam. The work of MVRDV has recieved several international awards. The monographic publications FARMAX (1998), KM3 (2005) and MVRDV Buildings (2013) illustrate the work of the Rotterdam firm that also develops software for architecture and urban planning. The 130 architects, designers and staff of MVRDV create projects in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative design process and apply innovative and sustainable technologies. Together with Delft University of Technology, MVRDV runs The Why Factory, an independent research institute that studies in the city of the future.