Timmerhuis

Rotterdam’s Timmerhuis is a new building for the city hall that accommodates municipal services, offices and residential units. 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 new building meets the Stadstimmerhuis (a municipal building, from 1953), which surrounds it on two sides.

We are very proud of Timmerhuis”, states De Graaf , “rather than adding to Rotterdam’s crowded history of revisionist planning and cacophony of architectural styles, the typical mass of Timmerhuis negotiates between the architectures of the buildings surrounding it“.

Courtesy of OMA, Photography by: Sebastian van Damme

Courtesy of OMA, Photography by: Sebastian van Damme

Located in the city’s Laurenskwartier neighbourhood, not far from where the Rem Koolhaas-led firm is based, OMA has merged a municipal office block from the 1950s with a pixellated steel and glass structure to create a new mixed-use building in Rotterdam’s city center. The Timmerhuis’s innovative structural system generates maximum efficiency and versatility both in construction and in program, units 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. On the street level, the structure allows for generous open space, with modules overhanging rather than encroaching into an interstitial area, encouraging an active and open engagement between the Timmerhuis and the city.

Courtesy of OMA, Photography by: Ossip van Duivenbode

Courtesy of OMA, Photography by: Ossip van Duivenbode

The design brief stipulated that the Timmerhuis must be the most sustainable building in the Netherlands. OMA tackled this imperative through the building’s core concept of flexibility, and also through the two large atriums, which act like lungs. They are connected to a climate system that stores warmth in summer and cold in winter and releases this energy as warm or cold air as required. The building’s triple glazed curtain wall facade uses hi-tech translucent insulation that allows for unprecedented energy efficiency.

The ambiguous mass of the Timmerhuis tries to mediate between the existing buildings surrounding it. The axis between the existing town hall and the post office coincides with the axis of symmetry of the Timmerhuis, and the street between these two buildings continues into a passageway to the Haagseveer. The Timmerhuis integrates with the neighboring Stadtimmerhuis by maintaining the same floor heights, while the plinth height of 20 meters conforms to the character of the surrounding Laurenskwartier.

Courtesy of OMA, Photography by: Ossip van Duivenbode

Courtesy of OMA, Photography by: Ossip van Duivenbode

Project Information :

Architects  OMA
Location Meent 119, 3011 JH Rotterdam, Netherlands
Partner in Charge Reinier de Graaf
Associate in Charge Alex de Jong, Katrien van Dijk
Partner in Charge (Competition Phase) Reinier de Graaf, Rem Koolhaas
Project Leader (Competition Phase) Mark Veldman
Project Team (Competition Phase) Pascual Bernad de Castro, Vilhelm Christensen, Alessandro De Santis, Katrien van Dijk, Jake Sadler Forster, David Gianotten, Andrea Giannotti, Alasdair Graham, Mendel Robbers, Dirk Peters, Tsuyoshi Nakamoto, Timur Shabaev, Yuri Suzuki, Milos Zivkovic
Partner in Charge (Schematic Design) Reinier de Graaf
Associate in Charge (Schematic Design) Alex de Jong
Project Leader (Schematic Design) Mark Veldman
Project Team (Schematic Design) Philippe Braun, Tom Tang, Andrew Linn, Peter Rieff
Partner in Charge (Preliminary Design) Reinier de Graaf
Associate in Charge (Preliminary Design) Alex de Jong
Project Team (Preliminary Design) Philippe Braun, Clarisa Garcia Fresco, Maaike Hawinkels, Takeshi Murakuni, Ross O’Connell, Mafalda Rangel, Peter Rieff, Carolien Schippers, Saskia Simon, Sakine Dicle Uzunyayla, Lucia Zamponi, Grisha Zotov
Partner in Charge (Design Development) Reinier de Graaf
Associate in Charge (Design Development) Alex de Jong
Project Architect (Design Development) Cock Peterse
Project Team (Design Development) Philippe Braun, Vitor Oliveira, Mafalda Rangel, Peter Rieff, Elida Mosquera, Magdalena Stanescu
Partner in Charge (Construction Documents) Reinier de Graaf
Associate in Charge (Construction Documents) Alex de Jong, Katrien van Dijk
Project Architect (Construction Documents) Cock Peterse
Project Team (Construction Documents) Philippe Braun, Vitor Oliveira, Mafalda Rangel, Peter Rieff, Elida Mosquera, Magdalena Stanescu
Project Architect (Interiors) Saskia Simon, Katrien van Dijk
Project Team (Interiors) Maaike Hawinkels, Sebastian Janusz, Sarah Moylan, Ross O’Connell, Vitor Oliveira, Ryan Peeters, Mafalda Rangel, Deborah Richmond, Magdalena Stanescu, Lucia Zamponi
Engineering, structural and installations (Competition) ABT
Sustainability consultants (Competition) Werner Sobek Green Technologies
Cost consultants (Competition) PRC
Model photography (Competition) Frans Parthesius
Local architect, cost consultant (Post-Competition) ABT
Process management (Post-Competition) Brinkgroep BV
Structural engineer (Post-Competition) Pieters Bouwtechniek
MEP engineer (Post-Competition) Deerns Raadgevende Ingenieurs
Sustainability, building physics, acoustics, fire consultant, security (Post-Competition) DGMR Bouw
Service engineers (Post-Competition) Deerns, Burgers Ergon
Facades (Post-Competition) Scheldbouw, Rollecate
Interior contractor (Post-Competition) Keijsers Lundiform
Contractor (Post-Competition) Heijmans
Client Stadsontwikkeling Rotterdam
Budget approx. €100 million
Site 0.5 hectares
Dimensions of ‘pixel’ 7.2m x 7.2m x 3.6m (w x b x h)
Program Office (25 400m2; both existing and new part of the building), Residential (12 000m2; 84 apartments), Exhibition Space (1 630m2), Retail (2 070m2), Underground Parking (3 900 m2; 120 places)
Building Height 60m; 14 storeys in the North Tower and 11 storeys in the South Towe
Construction : Steel frame; 3 850 tonnes of construction steel; 14 000 m2 of glass; cantilevers up to 21m
Area :45000.0 sqm
Project Year:  2015
Photographs Sebastian van Damme, Ossip van Duivenbode
Contractor : Heijmans

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