Rotterdam’s Stadskantoor by OMA


Office for Metropolitan Architecture have won a competition to design a new city hall for Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Called Rotterdam’s Stadskantoor, the project will include municipal functions, offices and apartments.

The building will be made up of smaller box-shaped cells.

Gardens for the apartments will be located on the higher roof terraces.

More about OMA on Dezeen in our special category.

Here's some more information from OMA:


OMA wins competition for Rotterdam’s Stadskantoor

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), in collaboration with Werner Sobek and engineers ABT, has won the competition for Rotterdam's Stadskantoor, a new building for the city hall that will accommodate municipal services, offices, and residential units. The winner was announced this morning by city alderman Hamit Karakus.

The design, led by OMA partners Reinier de Graaf and Rem Koolhaas, was chosen from five submissions by Dutch architecture companies following a public consultation period and the deliberation of an expert jury, which commented: “OMA’s design was the perfect combination of innovation and suitability for the surrounding context.”

OMA conceived a modular building with repeated units gradually set back from the street as they rise into two irregular peaks. The building’s composition of smaller cells creates an impressive, complex form when viewed from Coolsingel, one of Rotterdam’s main arteries, and allows for subtlety and adaptability as the Stadskantoor abuts the adjacent municipal building from the 1950s, the Stadstimmerhuis.

The Stadskantoor's innovative structural system generates maximum efficiency and versatility both in construction and in program: units can be added or even dismounted from the structure as demands on the building change over time, and can adapt to either office space or residential parameters as desired. Green terraces on higher levels provide the possibility of an apartment with a garden in the heart of urban Rotterdam.

The building's concept of flexibility – together with a climate regulated by warm air stored in summer and released in winter, and vice versa, and the use of hi-tech translucent insulation in the building's glass façade – allowed OMA to meet the design brief’s requirement of making the Stadskantoor the most sustainable building in the Netherlands.

Reinier de Graaf commented: "Rather than posing as the city's next superlative, the design for the Stadskantoor is partly a building, partly an urban condition – a skyline in its own right. The design attempts to mediate between the adjacent town hall, post office and Stadstimmerhuis. Through an intentional ambiguity, the mass immerses itself in the city's diverse architectural periods, absorbing the scales and styles of its immediate context."

Posted on Wednesday October 21st 2009 at 12:22 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • daily spread

    amazing, how this design stimulates communication, when i read through 50 comments…

    isn’t a city hall about lively debate and communication? at least in that sense this project is a great success!

  • Kathy

    first i didn´t get all this @ stuff but then I…..well got it :)
    and its funny stuff. well played – . But all fun
    yes, it really do stimulate…. :D

  • arnulfo alamil

    its like the design of richard meier on steroid. hehehe

  • bebo

    there is nothing with repeating a succisfull idea(if we can call it repeating)..and reflect it on the context properly but it seems to me that some times we can be very judgmental over somthing without understanding the real intentions behind it…away from that the design is oma’s , it is very good.

  • f

    can we look at some plans and sections please?
    stop judging every building by their facades.

  • astro

    @Matt, please give the French people a break, Architecture d’Aujourd’hui is dead since 4 years, and the French scene is dead…. Yes you are right J&Mc Farlane + Peripheriques are ridiculous, both are copies. Peripherique= bad copy of MVRDV. J&Mc Farlane=bad copy of FOA…

    But don’t forget Francois Roche and R&sie.

    By the way Rem constantly talks about Metabolism, in S,M,L,XL, in Mutation, in Content, and in Volume.
    He is the best antidote against the parametric-blob, he goes for the real-one: the parametric-generic, which is the ultimate combination, away from digital-numb-geeks :
    Venturi+Mies=(ambiguity, context)+(generic material+grid system)

  • When a city hall looks like a shopping mall, something it’s going wrong…

  • Ole Bauman? humm… that guy with an imaterial brain…

  • tan

    the building is tooo big , for the design to be delicate . It def needs a variation .
    its good to see the small scale reference , something to contrast it to ?

  • orod

    This is an OLD “new experience”.