The city of Rotterdam is celebrating 75 years of post-war reconstruction with incredible fanfare—and fantastic views. Prolific design studio MVRDV’s The Stairs project just opened to the public and it is every bit as impressive as their renderings promised. Located outside Rotterdam Central Station, the giant, eye-catching staircase features 180 steps that lead up to the rooftop of the iconic Groot Handelsgebouw, where the public can enjoy panoramic views of the city, film screenings, debates, and other art events.
The Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, led the celebrations yesterday at the opening ceremony of The Stairs to the public. Constructed by Dutch Steigers, the massive staircase is made of scaffolding in reference to the city’s reconstruction period following the devastating World War II bombardment that destroyed much of the city. “The stairs are a symbolic first step towards a better use of our city’s second layer, and ideally would be replaced with a set of escalators in the next step,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “It is, in this way, a second reconstruction, a ’Tweederopbouw’, that gives access to, activates and connects the rooftops of Rotterdam.”
The Stairs rises 29 meters up to the rooftop of Groot Handelsgebouw, where a viewing platform offers stunning panoramic views of the city skyline. Created in partnership with Rotterdam Celebrates the City!, the staircase references the angles of the Rotterdam Central Station to ground its contemporary design with its historic surroundings. In the first day, The Stairs saw 7,850 visitors. The temporary landmark will remain open until June 12th with free admission to visitors from 10AM to 10PM.
Images via MVRDV, by Ossip van Duivenbode