De Rotterdam is the name of the last project of Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA one of the biggest names on the international architectural scene. Completed on November 21, after less than four years of work, the Vertical City Building has transformed the appearance of the characteristic skyline of Rotterdam.
The building was conceived as a "city within a city" and consists of three interconnected towers offering a total space of 160,000 m² within which are distributed offices, apartments, a hotel, conference rooms, restaurants, shops, and a fitness facility.
The towers are part of an ambitious project of renovation going on in the old port of Rotterdam, the Wilhelmina pier next to the Erasmus Bridge and along the Meuse River. The goal is to transform the neighborhood into a lively area at the confluence of the activities in the city with shops, offices, housing, and spaces for leisure. The building stands on an area equivalent to that of a football field and with its 60,000 square meters of offices and 240 apartments, it is about to become the most densely populated area of the country.
In the month of January 2014, the new area of Wilhelmina pier will be enriched by the opening of a new Hotel Nhow Rotterdam, the third hotel of the line Nhow of the Spanish chai, consisting of 285 rooms and dedicated to design and art in the Netherlands.
De Rotterdam is named after one of the two ships of the Holland America Line, known for bringing thousands of European immigrants from Wilhelmina pier to the United States. Many other skyscrapers that arise in this area, in the district of Kop van Zuid, were designed by world-famous architects including Norman Foster, Alvaro Siza, Renzo Piano, and Mecanoo.
Even the sustainability plays an important role in the project, since the De Rotterdam aims to be one of the greenest buildings in the Netherlands. All offices are energy class A, and the energy they need is produced by solar panels placed on the roof and nine wind turbines. The air conditioning for heating and cooling the building uses the water of the Meuse river.
More than 40,000 drawings, 800 workers, and 4 years were required to achieve this construction that will soon become one of the architectural icons of the city. At the moment, 85% of the building was purchased or leased, (100% is likely to be reached in the autumn of 2014), and it is expected that about 5,000 people will move in it every day.
Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA are world leaders in the field of architecture and have won numerous international awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2000, the Praemium Imperiale (Japan) in 2003, the RIBA Gold Medal (UK) in 2004, the Mies van der Rohe Prize for Contemporary Architecture awarded by the European Union (2005), and the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010.