Rotterdam Charrette

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View / Download Student Presentations
Group 01 – Solange Guillaume, Montana Harinsuit, Stephen Himmerich, Michael Schiebe
Group 02 – Nathan Bond, Elissa Brown, Ryan Coates, Stephanie Erwin

During the Rotterdam charrette week, students designed multifunctional landscapes for a highly developed urban area within the working port of Rotterdam.

Working between the Waalhaven and the Eemhaven, the focus is on the Research, Development and Manufacturing (RDM) campus and the historic garden village of Hejiplaat. Currently under industrial, commercial and residential use, the site lies outside protection dikes and is thus ripe for climate adaptation and mitigation design.

Designing in groups of four, students chose their focus from a panoply of options – designing for greenspace compensation and noise abatement along a new commercial road alignment, flood protection for climate change +100 projections, water retention for surface water runoff and more connections between RDM and Heijplatt areas. Presentations are in the form of a projected slideshow; the .pdf files are available below.

Heijplaat: Fuse + Fabric
initiating social connectivity and multifunctional space-making within Rotterdam’s historic village

Built to house workers of RDM, Heijplaat was built in the early twentieth century in the form of a designed garden village. Decades of success created a strong and well-knit community that residents felt strong appreciation for. However, RDM bankruptcy in 1983 forced almost all residents to leave. Although RDM has reestablished itself in the innovation and education sectors, the village of Heijplaat is struggling to regain its original qualities; this has led to a severed connection between RDM and the village which needs to be restitched.

Values + Motives

–  reconnecting Heijplaat + RDM
–  stormwater mitigation
–  multifunctional infrastructure + space
–  improving the quality of life

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Preserving Heijplaat
Through adaptive, multi-functional place-making
Nathan Bond, Elissa Brown, Ryan Coates, Stephanie Erwin

As the global climate continues to evolve and affect current sea levels around the world, how does this influence the activities of those cities that are situated along these rising shores? The Port of Rotterdam has been expanding westward towards and into the North Sea, leaving behind it areas to be redeveloped nearer to the center city. Nestled within these shifting economic and environmental issues sits the historic worker village RDM-Heijplaat. A small community that is historically tied to Port operations that insured its survival, Heijplaat has seen its share of urban decline and now revitalization. The newly revitalized RDM campus has brought back ferry service to the neighborhood that had previously been under serviced and disconnected from the rest of the City. As a historic site, Heijplaat’s old village is a fantastic example of the garden city movement of the early 20th century.

This is an area that is experiencing a tremendous amount of change. As the RDM campus continues to develop itself, the issue of connecting with Heijplaat has become more apparent. This combined with the redevelopment of the adjacent new village and the desire to increase the vitality of the Eemhaven and Waalhaven slips into the largest short sea port in Europe creates a critical junction for this village. How will Heijplaat relate to these new situations and how will it be able to do so in the face of a rising sea and the increasing risk of flooding involved in being in the un-embanked areas of Rotterdam?

While the village currently sits above sea level, it is not protected against Rotterdam’s updated flood figures for a 10,000 year flood event of 3.9 NAP. An event of this magnitude would completely flood the village and cause extensive damage to this valuable place. The residents here have no desire to have a dike built around them and the new village design proposals also abide by this desire. The RDM campus as well sits as a separate entity from the village, an unfortunate reversal of the historic connection between port and home.

In consideration of these issues, we outlined a set of values to drive our design process for the area. We sought to:
• Develop a plan that would ensure the Old Village’s safety in the event of the 10,000 year storm.
• Allow for soft interventions around the area that can accept the situations presented by climate change.
• Better connect Heijplaat to the water and to RDM through storm water retention and better programming of spaces
• Ensure the health and welfare of the residents and workers in the community

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