This year marks the 75th year since Rotterdam began its city reconstruction following the devastating World War II bombardment that killed 850 people and left 80,000 people homeless. In honor of Rotterdam’s resilience and growth since that time, MVRDV has unveiled plans to install a gigantic staircase out of scaffolding in front of Rotterdam Central Station. Set to open to the public this summer, the 180-step temporary installation, titled the Stairs, will offer sweeping views overlooking the entire city.
The Stairs celebrates the rebuilding of Rotterdam in two major ways. The first is in the use of scaffolding, which is a nod to the reconstruction process, and the second is the progression of perspectives as users climb the 180 steps. The staircase will lead from Stationsplein, outside Rotterdam Central Station’s entrance, to the rooftop of the Groot Handelsgebouw, an iconic historical building. “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 the ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city!’ organization.
The giant staircase will measure 29 meters in height and 57 meters in length with a design informed by the angles of the Rotterdam Central Station. A temporary observation deck atop Groot Handelsgebouw gives visitors the opportunity to overlook the city and will also feature the former cinema Criterion, once popular in the 1960s, which will display films and performances. The deck will also have refreshment facilities and an information center. The Stairs will open to the public from May 16 until June 12, from 10AM to 10PM.
Images via MVRDV