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The Biggest Building of the Netherlands: De Rotterdam

When your ambitions are greater than the available space you have two options: adapt either your ambitions, or the space. Architect Rem Koolhaas managed to add a third option: turn the city upside down. Or rather: stack it ... (OVG 2014b). In order to accommodate all the cities of Rotterdam’s massive plans Koolhaas’ OMA Architecten designed an entire district with apartments, hotel, entertainment and leisure amenities, and offices. He then lifted the whole plan up and stacked it on top of each other: Literally a vertical city. Upon completion, De Rotterdam became the largest building

Fig. 2.4 Mixed-used towers of the vertical city concept of De Rotterdam

in the Netherlands at 162,000 m2 of area and 149 m height. Its mass is broken down by three interconnected mixed-use towers, accommodating offices, apartments, a hotel, conference facilities, shops, restaurants, and cafes. De Rotterdam is an exercise in formal interpretation that is at once reminiscent of an imported mid-century American skyscraper, but epitomizes the off-center experimentalism of modern Dutch art of the foregoing century. Through De Rotterdam, which is the Netherlands’ biggest construction project, OMA/Rem Koolhaas has developed the country’s first vertical city, see Fig. 2.4.

It took 10 years to develop the building and is a good example of art out of creating space in high places in a country where ground-level square meters are seriously limited.

Koolhaas: “De Rotterdam is a persuasive design. Its fascination comes from the fact that, despite being an undoubtedly large building, it’s actually formed of small parts that come together to form an exciting whole. This is in contrast to so many other buildings in Rotterdam that are just singular entities. De Rotterdam has an ambitious agenda: to be a residential building, a place of work, a recreation center and a hotel. For every component, we looked at how its circumstances, situation, and views could be best utilized. As a result, every part has a different character.”

Everyday, 3000-4000 people will put De Rotterdam to full-time use: Through living in 240 apartments spread over 35,000 m2; through working in 60,000 m2 of office space; through using a four-star hotel whose 285 rooms occupy 19,000 m2; through parking in a secure 25,000 m2 garage with spaces for 684 cars; and through making use of 3500 m2 of conference rooms, shops, restaurants, and cafes. In short, it’s a building full of international appeal: in De Rotterdam sustainability is given the rightful attention while providing residents with comfort. In partnership with

>or heating/cooling of the apartments of De Rotterdam

Fig. 2.5 >or heating/cooling of the apartments of De Rotterdam

Eneco, a sustainable energy supply concept was developed to equip the 44-floors apartments with under-floor heating and cooling by generating heat and cold from existing sources through heat pumps. The system allows high temperature cooling and low temperature heating because of the big active surface areas of exchanging energy within the rooms. The under-floor heating and cooling system makes use for cooling of cold water from the Maas, see Fig. 2.5.

The interior temperature of every room is controlled by its own thermostat and high performance. Heat-reflective double-glazing and windows to let fresh air inside reduce the cooling demand. The energy concept of De Rotterdam, see Fig. 2.6, is a high complex mixture of different elements combined with heat/power installation of the local City heating system, partly co-generation with biofuel, river Maas water cooling (Fig. 2.7), Aquifer thermal energy storage, and heat pumps.

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