Koolhaas comes home - The Rotterdam to be the largest building in the Netherlands (NL)

Real estate developers MAB Development and OVG Real Estate are proud to announce the start of the construction, on December 14, 2009, of The Netherlands' largest building project ever, to a design by world-famous architect Rem Koolhaas. In these times of economic recession, the City of Rotterdam has joined forces with private enterprise to ensure that work can begin on the €340 million development in 2009.

Rem Koolhaas is finally set to crown his home city of Rotterdam with a new landmark tower after years spent with the project on hold. Designed by Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), the enormous building is to be called the De Rotterdam and will provide 160,000 m² of useable space, making it the largest block of its kind in the Netherlands.

De Rotterdam has been conceived as a vertical city: three interconnected mixed-use towers accommodating offices, apartments, a hotel, conference facilities, a gym, shops, restaurants and cafés. The towers are part of the ongoing redevelopment of the old port district of Wilhelminapier, adjacent to the Erasmus Bridge, with aim of restoring the vibrant urban activity – trade, transport and leisure – once familiar in the neighbourhood. De Rotterdam is named after one of the ships of the Holland America Line, which in decades past used to depart from the Wilhelminapier carrying thousands of European emigrants to the US.

The three towers will reach a height of 150 metres. But OMA's architectural concept produces more than sheer size: the guiding principles behind the project are urban density and diversity, in form as well as use. De Rotterdam's stacked towers are arranged in a subtly irregular cluster that refuses to resolve into a singular form and so creates intriguing new views from different perspectives. Similarly, the definition of the building changes according to its multiple internal uses.

The City of Rotterdam has always sought to engage in a serious architectural discourse through ambitious building projects. But the sheer scale of this development, combined with the involvement of a world-renowned architect who is "coming home", will combine to it a landmark unsurpassed in spirit and form alike.

The global economic crisis has had a huge impact upon the construction market, but MAB and OVG have succeeded in bucking the current trend to secure financing for the multi-million euro project in partnership with Rabobank. In fact, a substantial fall in building and materials costs has helped breathe new life into the plans after ten years on the drawing board.

The project has a construction lead time of 45 months and will be completed in 2013. The development will create over a thousand new jobs during the construction phase and hundreds more once the building is finished. As such it represents a direct economic boost for Rotterdam, the third largest port economy in the world.

Source: MAB Development Nederland BV

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