How to design Rotterdam’s first fully wooden 50m high residential building

Nav Pal
02 Aug 2021

Robert Winkel and Robert Platje join the World Build podcast to talk about Mei architects and planners project, SAWA, constructed entirely in cross-laminated timber and distinguished by green terraces, which enhance the biodiversity of the neighbourhood

Robert Winkel, founder of Mei architects and planners, leads a team of around 30 designers and experts in redevelopment, urban planning and innovation in architecture. As chief designer, he is the driving force behind all of the firm’s projects and takes an active role as initiator/developer. He is also chairman of the Environmental Quality Commission in Amsterdam, supervisor of Rotterdam - the Hague Airport and chairman of the Quality-team Feyenoord-City in Rotterdam. 

Since 2000, Robert Platje has worked as a project manager and construction technologist at Mei, and In 2017 was appointed associate partner. He is a BREEAM-NL expert at the Dutch Green Building Council, committee member of Utility building at SBR, and a member of the BNA policy advisory committee Technology and Regulations. 

Mei is recognized as a leader in transforming existing, monumental buildings into mixed-use and loft concepts, such as Fenix I and Jobsveem in Rotterdam and the Cheese Warehouse in Gouda, and new build projects such as Schiecentrale 48 and the McDonald's pavilion at Coolsingel in Rotterdam. With the design and development of SAWA, a fully wooden residential building in Rotterdam, Mei is a pioneer in the field of creating future-proof, nature-inclusive housing. At an urban planning level, Mei specialises in complex inner-city and redevelopment projects. 

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