Westerpoort Passage Rotterdam

Rotterdam, NL

Type Landscape design
Location Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Design 2021
Construction 2021
Size <1 ha
Client VORM
I.c.w. Bedaux de Brouwer architecten , IMD, New Horizon, VIVID Vision, Paul van Egmond, DLVS, Stratego Advies
Team Eric-Jan Pleijster, Mark Spaan, Mikel Orbegozo, Andrea Tomasino, Michael Schoner, Francesco Prete, Yishan Du

Team VORM, LOLA and Bedaux de Brouwer architects has won the tender for the redevelopment of Westersingel 18-20 in Rotterdam with ‘Westerpoort’. Part of the transformation of the former snooker center into a city block with living and working, is a new passage between the Westersingel and the Wijkpark Oude Westen. This creates a new route through the city. Not only for people, but also for animals. A publicly accessible garden will be set up between the building and the neighborhood park as an ecological resting place in the city.

 

Contemporary integration in the Westersingel
The current building will be transformed into a multifunctional building that reinterprets the 19th-century architectural style on the Westersingel in a contemporary way. Divided over the main building ‘Poortwachter’ on the canal and the pavilion ‘Parkwachter’ in the garden, Westerpoort offers a varied program of living, working and relaxing and ensures the desired social control. The Poortwachter has been carefully integrated into the monumental facade image of the Westersingel, whereby the original parcelling becomes visible again. The Parkwachter fits in with the series of spacious backyards and gives the backyard an address to the neighborhood park.

 

New natural garden complements the park
The spacious backyard of Westerpoort blends in with the urban context of the Westersingel with a modern interpretation of the Romantic style. The garden has been designed with great care as an attractive biotope for humans and animals, and forms an essential ecological stepping stone from the park to the Westersingel and vice versa. People can visit the garden and relax in an attractive green, socially safe environment. A place to withdraw from all the urban bustle. A place for relaxation and contemplation. The garden merges seamlessly with both the Westerpoort building and the Parkwachter pavilion because of the large windows and high ceilings of both buildings.

Park passage creates new social and natural connections
‘Parkpad’, the passage on the Westersingel has got a transparent volume of the Lobby on the left and a sheltered, vegetated wall on the right. By this strong contrast, two welcoming arms are created, that flank the passage and guide the pedestrian. One inviting arm, a social connection, for the Rotterdammer, in which all programmatic functions converge with the entrance of the Lobby. In addition, a green arm, the ecological connection, which accompanies everything that crawls and flutters from the Wijkpark Oude Westen to the Westersingel and vice-versa. The ecological connection connects the tree crowns of the park via the wooden ceiling and the tuff wall with ferns, mosses and climbing plants to the tree crowns of the Westersingel.

 

Sustainable transformation for humans and animals
Westerpoort transforms instead of demolishes the building, in a way that the column structure, which ensures flexible use, is reused. Any material that is removed is being reused in any way possible. For example, the natural stone façade of the existing building is incorporated into the paving of the passage. Building rubble from returns as a foundation under the Parkpad and as a substrate on the nature roof, where after treatment it becomes a nurturing soil for plants. Besides the natural wooden roof of the passage, hiding places and nesting boxes for animals and insects are being integrated throughout the project. A special feature is the ecological tower of the Parkwachter pavilion with integrated nesting boxes for birds, insects and bats as the centerpiece in the garden.

A new route in Rotterdam

The garden as and addition to the park

Seamlessly integrated in the park

The garden is connected to the building by large windows and doors

Pavillion Parkwachter blends in the garden

The social connection

The ecological connection

The new route as seen from park to Westersingel

The Lobby, wooden ceiling and planted wall

The garden room

The garden as a place to withdraw form the bustling city

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