architecture : strategy and design

city hall extension, rotterdam, nl

programme city hall extension site rotterdam, holland surface 70.000 m2 budget 80.000.000 € year 2001 phase competition design client rotterdam municipality team cab42

the city hall is one of the rare historic monuments in downtown rotterdam. the competition demanded the addition of 70.000 m2 which equals a 400 % augmentation. furthermore ideas for energy management were specifically demanded, and the adaptability of the space for future reorganisation.

the modernist dogma 'form follows function' is inversed to 'function follws form', to respond to contemporary necessity for adaptability. the hypothesis is that buildings change more slowly than the activities of those who occupy them.
the design approach can be summarized in 3 steps : 1. the total volume is sculpted into the city morphology and the general performace criteria; 2. the sculpture is examined for physical characterisitcs so as to match programme to a certain place in the sculpture; 3. variants of facade typology are developed to accomodate variants of programme. the synthesis of the design steps delivers a complex with an inner and an outer logic.

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