Project description of The B Tower Rotterdam by Wiel Arets Architects:
The B Tower is located in the centre of Rotterdam, immediately adjacent to the Bijenkorf department store designed by Marcel Breuer in the late 1950s. Because of its commercial context the site below the Bijenkorf’s roofline is to be fully occupied, while above it, just thirty per cent of the lot towards the sunken shopping mall Beurstraverse, has been released to build a high-rise tower. In order to avoid splitting the project into a basement and a tower, the design stacks three volumes of similar height. The ground-related volume contains a fashion store, The Sting, and a car park; the two upper volumes contain apartments.
Accordingly, the entrance to the store faces the pedestrian precinct whereas the private and service parts of the building can be accessed from the side road. The minimized core of the high-rise can access up to six apartments per floor so as to keep up with changing market demands. The shifting of volumes in and out of alignment defines two areas of different depth in relation to the central circulation, resulting in two principal layouts for the apartments. In the less-deep ones, the bathroom gives a view of the city.
Analogous to Breuer’s building, the faÃ§ade is not related to the separate levels but to the respective volumes. The skin, which consists out of alternating glazed and aluminum panels, is an extrusion of the bottom plan. A series of cantilevered balconies clustered in a few lines takes care of the larger scale.
project (title): B Tower
location (address): Hennekijnstraat, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
project team: Wiel Arets, Bettina Kraus, Carsten Hilgendorf, Joris van den Hoogen
collaborators: Kam Bava, David Luque, Marie Morin, Deniza Radulova, Sash Reading, Jasper Stevens, Michal Switalski, Cindy Wouters, Aynav Ziv
furniture design: Wiel Arets Architects
date of design: 2006
date of completion: 2011
client: MAB Bouwfonds
program: Retail, housing and parking
area: 12.500 m2
consultants: Ingenieursbureau Zonneveld B.V., Valstar Simonis raadgevende ingenieurs, Cauberg Huygen raadgevende ingenieurs
bibliography: Peter Kaufmann, â€˜Ich glaube an KrÃ¤fte, die an einem bestimmten Ortwirkenâ€™, Architese, (03/04 2005) p 34-39