Rotterdam te huur

Wilhelminaplein te huur

Vacant NL’ was the title of the exhi­bi­tion for the Dutch pavil­ion at the Venice Archi­tec­ture Bien­nale 2010.
The exhi­bi­tion has con­cep­tu­ally sum­ma­rized a research high­light­ing unused and empty pub­lic build­ings all over The Nether­lands, while propos­ing strate­gies for tem­po­rary reuse. After 5 years and two other Bien­nales, the theme of vacant space is still of utmost impor­tance in The Nether­lands. Per­haps, Rot­ter­dam is the most afflicted city due to its post-industrial atti­tude. How­ever, vacant indus­trial spaces are cou­pled by a whole array of empty office build­ings, which spread through­out the city center.

In 2014, Rot­ter­dam was crowned best city in Europe at the Urban­ism Awards and a recent inter­est­ing online arti­cle describes Rotterdam’s post WWII renais­sance (Dafne​.com), while high­light­ing some major issues still affect­ing its urban environment.

Dur­ing an after­noon of the last year, we crossed Rot­ter­dam city cen­ter col­lect­ing a series of pho­tos that clearly tes­ti­fies how much vacant space is out there. Our focus has been mainly on office spaces to rent.

What I have been won­der­ing for some time is, why all (pri­vately owned) empty office spaces are not rented for less?! Why there is no will in fill­ing the space any­ways? An answer may be: cheaper rent means to record a loss of cap­i­tal in a company’s books. Per­haps, an action as such, would under­mine com­pa­nies’ value more than any unpaid rent.

Still, the feel­ing is that Rot­ter­dam has great poten­tial because of all that space at hand, but the ques­tion of how to use it remains. More­over, there are prece­dents of build­ings due to demo­li­tion that have reju­ve­nated after bottom-up pri­vate ini­tia­tives (Schieblock). This kind of approach is in favor of start-ups, small enter­prises and self-employed pro­fes­sion­als, which could be the new Rotterdam’s work­force after the indus­trial demise.

As a last thought, I per­son­ally believe that a place like Rot­ter­dam, equipped with vast empty spaces and build­ings, is the per­fect set­ting to develop a new clus­ter focused on tech­nolo­gies, inno­va­tion and research, which could counter act the har­bor decline. In 2015, sell­ing Rotterdam’s image as the largest har­bor of Europe sounds out­dated. To look at the future, a step for­ward is required and it may break with his­tory, once more.

Rotterdam TE HUUR

Vacant NL on Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordance web­site / Vacant NL Mas­ter / Vacant NL Stu­dio / Book­let Vacant NL, where archi­tec­ture meets ideas

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on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2017-08-06 12:09:32

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multitude- multitude

on Survey

2015-04-01 13:27:31

[…] the spon­ta­neous responses to the last ques­tion of the sur­vey car­ried out in […]

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 18:10:56

@Colt Sievers I will be the first to agree with you on all counts. I would love to read that article. If you ever want to publish it on my blogg please do not hesitate to contact me.

Colt Sievers

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:58:10

@Conrad having worked in one of those offices that you mention, I have found your post as much provocative as naive and simplistic. I should make an entire post to explain why... will leave that for later. Thanks, anyway, to keep the discussion alive

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:45:07

Besides my terrible diction or lack thereof this raises another issue. Should we really feel outrage or sympathy for these interns? After all the ones who can afford to take these kind of jobs are the sons and daughters of the wealthy. What this letter is, is infact symbolic capital and social significance for sale. The rich kid can buy this piece of significance for among other reasons to go to a party and say to his less affluent counterpart, "hey I work for SANAA, or DS+R or whoever. Where do you work again?" Its a status symbol, just like a porsche, or a private jet. Affordable to a selected few that can afford it.