Caruso St John Architects
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Client: City of Rotterdam
Project Status: Study
The Boompjes is the waterfront of the city of Rotterdam on the north side of the river Maas. Currently an exposed and under occupied strip beside a busy road, the Boompjes was previously an important city harbour frontage in the 19th Century. The study was carried out in collaboration with Southwark Council, and was one of four proposals by international teams, each commissioned by the city of Rotterdam from different cities with their own urban waterfronts.
The study proposes to reform an identity to the Boompjes with an array of substantial buildings evenly spaced across the length of the site, whose overall presence has the quality of a planned structure. The study is in opposition to the direction of the formal eclecticism and laissez-faire attitude of the recent developments taking place along the river edge.
The new buildings are envisaged as having the clarity of image of dock warehouses, where structure gives character to the facades and provides an open interior capable of occupation by a wide range of uses, both public and private.
At the river edge level a continuous covered way is provided through the new structures, forming a public route, which is linked to adjacent riverbanks and the city center by new small bridges and underpasses.
The spaces between the new buildings form a network of gardens along the new route.