I just returned from a visit to Rotterdam where I and three other students on my course met up with some students from Lille University in France. We took part in a workshop inspired by work currently being shown by our course tutors – Tracy MacKenna and Edwin Janssen.
The first thing to say is that Rotterdam is a surprising city. Before I went I had visions of an industrial city and port that had had to rebuild itself after it was flattened during the Second World War. What I didn’t expect was the sheer imagination put into that redevelopment.
Two main things I noticed – firstly, buildings had their own style, it was very mixed styles throughout the centre, but it worked well. The second thing was that most buildings were multiple use – people lived in the same buildings as shops and offices were housed – see this picture of the market hall which was surrounded by flats which arched over the top of the very colourful central hall.
The result was a lively, vibrant city centre
There was interesting architecture everywhere we looked. We stayed at the Stay Okay Hostel which was in the ‘Cube Houses’ just across the square from the market hall and the railway station.
Look at the building next to them. Around almost every corner is interesting architecture. Plus lots of public art.