The city of Rotterdam recently released a bevy of gorgeous green designs for a new mixed-use city hall building that will become “the most sustainable in The Netherlands”. The city challenged designers to create something spectacular, something that will be super energy efficient, use sustainable materials, be useful for various people and events, generate its own energy, recycle and take out its own trash. Well, ok maybe not take out its own trash, but you get the drift. Read on for a look at the five stunning finalists – Claus en Kaan Architecten, Mecanoo Architecten, Meyer en van Schooten Architecten, OMA and SeARCH, all whom were chosen to display their designs at NAI until September 13th to receive public feedback.

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Descriptions of the designs are a bit challenging to discern for this non-Dutch speaker, but here’s what we picked up from the City’s website about each design. Some of the descriptions seem a bit vague with their descriptions of sustainability, so we hope that the exhibit in The Netherlands is bit more detailed.

Claus en Kaan Architecten

This bright design takes the form of a thin open building built from glass and steel with high windows. The structure makes great use of daylighting, and solar panels and aliving green roof grace the top of the building. Aside from generating its own energy, the building is also highly energy efficient.

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Mecanoo Architecten

Mecanoo keeps the architectural style of the existing municipal monument and upgrades and renovates the look for a continuous style. The tower stands as a separate building, and on the roof an electrostatic wind energy converter generates energy for the building. Below the parking garage is equipped for electric cars and acts to cool the entire building. Energy efficiency and daylight are also important elements, and the building uses mirror balls reflect light through fiber optic cables to work stations.

Meyer en van Schooten Architecten

This carbon neutral design focuses on energy efficiency and daylight and also includes a cooling house in the parking garage. Environmental impact will be minimized during construction and the materials used are environmentally sensitive. The design allows for flexibility in arrangements and rooms and can adapt as demands change over time.


OMA’s proposal is a modern take on cubism, and features a bottom floor that is an extension of the public space. A steel structure made up of small standardized components allows for the building to be efficiently constructed. The building will feature rainwater collection for use in the building and the atria acts as lungs for the building, providing ventilation and temperature control.


SeARCh’s proposal is a far cry from the other more traditional designs and is marked by parabola shaped forms on top of a square base. The interior is characterized by lush living walls and the buildings will be powered by wind energy and will achieve energy neutrality. Their design also achieves a high score through the BRE Environmental Assessment Method.

So which one is your favorite design? If anyone is able to visit the exhibit, please report back and share your thoughts! In case you’re not in The Netherlands, you can also view the designs online through their website.

Via ArchDaily