New Maritime Centre for Rijnhaven in Rotterdam

16 December 2020
  • Plomp
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo



Mecanoo create development partially submerged in tidal river

Mecanoo has designed a Maritime Centre which will be partially submerged beneath the Nieuwe Maas river in Rotterdam and will only become fully visible at low tide. The centre will be located in the city’s Rijnhaven port, which is currently undergoing a transformation as part of a development vision for Codrico Terrain, the new masterplan created by Powerhouse Company in collaboration with RED company. As a key part of the port development, the centre will act as a catalyst for the area, intended to be used by entrepreneurs, science and cultural organizations, while also being accessible to the public.

The organic building design is intended to contrast with the rational, industrial design of the port, forming a key element of the jetty path from the Wilhelminaplein towards Katendrecht. A multi-layered route that runs under, along, over and through the centre gives shape to the design and structures the organisation of the building. An elegant ribbon winds around the pavilions and stimulates interaction between the different components.

As part of the building will be underwater, it offers a great deal of space without becoming too large for the port in terms of size and scale. At low tide, the whole structure will become visible, making the tidal difference of 1.5 to 2 meters tangible. In addition to logistics spaces, the underwater world is also suitable for exhibitions, with indirect lighting provided by round skylights that protrude above the water.

The designs will now move on to the next stage of planning, and dialogue will be initiated with local parties to help shape the development vision.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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