The up-and-coming Waterstad quarter of Rotterdam, the Wijnhaven street, where the new tower will be built, has the potential to grow into a lively pedestrian route given its strategic position as a connector between the Oude Haven (Old Harbour) to the east and Witte de Withstraat – one of the busiest pedestrian streets of Rotterdam with cafes, restaurants, galleries and shops that ends at the Museum Park – to the west. To establish a close connection with the street, the tower’s ground level commercial functions have fully glazed, transparent facades.
Towards the center, the facade bends in to mark the double-height residential entrance, framing it with a pair of dark concrete walls that contrast with the tall, transparent and bright lobby. Immediately above the shops are three levels of parking. Between the fifth and eighth levels, the building volume bends to the west and to the north, giving space between itself and the future tower to be built on the adjacent plot at Wijnhaven 65. These two towers will be coupled, and will share a large terrace on the fifth level.
A secondary lobby will give access to this urban roof garden, and to a common fitness centre in the Wijnhaven 65 tower. The Muse’s bending gesture, as well as giving light and space to this shared terrace, also unifies the plinth and tower into one sculptural element. The result is a bold and recognizable silhouette, which is emphasized by a dark grey concrete ‘wrap’. The residential units themselves offer high-end housing with generous exterior spaces, qualities that are generally lacking in Rotterdam’s housing market.
They primarily target middle and upper class young couples, as well as the growing demographic group of “empty-nesters”, offering a variety of housing typologies. The apartments are flexibly designed, giving buyers the choice of creating a larger bedroom or bathroom, or exchanging one of the rooms for a larger kitchen. The top level of The Muse features two luxurious penthouses, each with a private courtyard open to the sky and panoramic views to the river and the city. Each unit has a spacious balcony with a varying depth that gives privacy from neighbours.
The deep and narrower parts of the balconies are staggered with respect to the levels above and below, so that each balcony is partially double-height, optimizing sun conditions for the interior. The balconies face south towards the river, and north towards the city. The east and west facades, in contrast, are sheltered by the dark ‘wrap’ and have smaller openings, ensuring visual privacy from the neighbouring towers. Construction of The Muse will start in the spring of 2017, with expected completion by the end of 2018. Source by Barcode Architects.
- Location: Wijnhaven 69, Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Architect: Barcode Architects
- Project Team: Caro van de Venne, Dirk Peters, Tim Brans, Hendrik Bloem, Wim Sjerps, Sara Picazo Clarke, Boris Kozlowski, Marko Koops, Egidijus Kasakaitis, Ilaria Ronchi, Ruggero Pedrini
- Structural Engineers: IMD
- Mechanical Engineers: Mabutec
- Building Technology: ABT
- Cost Calculation: VGG
- Contractor: Smit’s Bouwbedrijf
- Client: VOF WH69
- Building area: 19.700m2
- Building Height: 75m
- Status: construction to begin in spring 2017, expected completion by the end of 2018
- Images: Courtesy of Barcode Architects