Rotterdam’s soon-to-be-built Stadskantoor skyscraper is a vision of new urbanism— a low energy, mixed-use building that is user-friendly and responsive to the city’s architectural past. Designed by OMA, the pixelated project is based on a modular building system that can shift its shape as the building's needs change. Thanks to its “formless heap” design the building can meet a variety of building needs ranging from retail at the bottom to a municipal office complex in the mid levels, and residential units at top. The design even calls for rooftop gardens, providing residences with a little backyard in the heart of Rotterdam. The project has just received the BREEAM excellent designation for its environmental design, which harnesses state of the art energy-saving features - read on to learn more!
Office for Metropolitan Architecture won the commission in 2009 with an unorthodox design that met the use requirements set by the city while rising to the challenge of being the “most sustainable building in the Netherlands.” The building’s modular design enables it to adapt to future growth, and its characteristic double peak soften the contrast between the new project and the surrounding buildings from different eras.
The cantilevered design also creates a more inviting street level program, spurring a robust community space. The stepped-back profile makes for a softer street front, and multiple rooftops will provide space for walkout gardens for the upper story apartments.
The building’s glass facade is embedded with what the architects refer to as a ‘translucent insulation’ to provide maximum daylight with minimal heat loss or gain. The core of the building holds two large atriums connected to a HVAC system, which will store heat in the summer for winter use and vice versa, presumably using a thermal storage system and heat pump. OMA’s efforts earned them the green building certification of excellent through Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method before the project has even broken ground.
Via architecture lab