MONOLAB attempts to boost tourism and add functional green space in Rotterdam
Rotterdam based design practice MONOLAB architects believe that their home city lags behind others on two key issues . First, Rotterdam has little functional green public space and second, the city ignores a positive use for citizens and tourists of its 94-KM waterfront along the Maas River. MONOLAB has therefore taken the initiative to confront these issues through the ‘GREEN RIVER’ project.
GREEN RIVER consists of two elements:
1. A Monolab upgrade of the Westersingel, the green axis running parallel with the Coolsingel main boulevard. It connects all fragmented tiny green plots, makes the city centre more healthy and human and improves its absorption of rainwater. Green River also connects two dedicated public buildings on both sides. In the North the renewed CENTRAL STATION and in the South the ‘ROTTERDAM GREEN BUILDING’, a cultural hotspot designed by Monolab.
2. In the urban window of this building a site originates where the city is connected to the river at last. The Euromast Park is linked a new, permanent BEACH to the Maas River.
Jan Willem van Kuilenburg, Principal of Monolab Architects explains: “Through GREEN RIVER we have united city and river again. Rotterdam has a dramatic lack of useable green space within its downtown district. The few city parks, like the Zuiderpark and Kralingse Bos, are too remote. The city centre only has the hidden Euromast Park and the Westersingel green axis. In our proposal we made a quantum leap by introducing a green shared space for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. The new green and deliberately vulnerable surface has a larger buffer capacity for rain water and certain existing buildings along will have green facades and roofs.
“We also planned the multifunctional and embedded ‘GREEN ROTTERDAM BUILDING’ on the Westerkade quay, connecting Green River with the Maas River through a permanent BEACH. This initiative contributes to the transformation of Rotterdam, the city that lost its westward moving world harbour, the city that never really was connected with its Maas River except for pure logistic reasons but owns 94-km waterfront within its Ring. Many cities already realised their waterfronts, it’s about time for Rotterdam to take action.”