Four Harbour Roof Park

Buro Sant en Co: The Rotterdam Roof park is developed in the so called ‘Four Harbours’ Strip: an elongated strip of no-man’s land not far from the city centre of Rotterdam. The assignment is to integrate the development of 85.000m2 of offices, shops and schools with a sea dyke and a public park on top. This project works as a catalyst in the urban transformation of the harbours, and will form a new landmark along the ‘Park lane’ which is one of the most important roads of Rotterdam. The project adds a significant spatial quality to the adjacent neighbourhood Bospolder, which lacks proper green. The roof park is a good example of intensive spatial and multiple ground use. In spite of its many limitations (the altitude, safety issues, narrow shape and climate and constructional requirements) the aim is to create a well accessible and green park.

Two significant buildings mark the head and the tail of the park. The roof park is characterized by an intriguing folded morphology, which relates to the underlying dike and buildings. The profile of the park is at one side 8 meters about ground level on top of commercial facilities. On the other side the park is folded in two levels unto ground level with a direct connection to the adjacent neighbourhood.

The park is strongly connected to its surroundings. The main entrances are related to the street pattern of Bospolder and form a structure of paths from the street level until the heighted edge. The stairs at the head and tail of the park are connected to the Park Lane and the transforming harbour area. Linear paths and slopes makes the roof park easily accessible from the neighbourhood. The central axis runs from the top to the lowest level of the park and will link the different park elements.

Clumps of trees are scattered on the central meadow of the roof park. Towards the edges the trees are more densely planted together with shadow loving ground vegetation. A barcode of flower bulbs provides a lively and colourful pattern running down from the highest to the lowest part of the park. Three theme gardens are located at different places in the park: a playground, a neighbourhood garden and a green house. The gardens are bordered by hedges creating a microclimate that allows for the use of more sensitive. The green house is located in the heart of the park and forms a direct link between roof and street level, building and park. It houses a cafeteria with a Mediterranean garden. The eastern and western parts of the park differ greatly in character. The eastern part, being located on top of a commercial façade has an urban character. Here the park is planted with tall trees and green hedges.

The thematic gardens are the highlights of the park and have a specific design. The Mediterranean garden houses a greenhouse and is located along the main entrance. Palm trees that are planted at street level extend all the way to the roof garden. The central staircase is connected to the Mediterranean garden and has a special design combined with water. The playground will be provided with play elements that are specially designed for this garden and which make use of the height differences. The neighbourhood garden will get a simple lay-out which can be completed by the residents.

The park will be closed off between sunset and sunrise. Therefore the park will be provided with a physical boundary of fences and gates. This fence will be specially designed for the roof park, a high-quality transparent fence. The gates have an unique appearance and will have a specific design for each entrance.

Urban plan roof park: Buro Sant en Co
Masterplan park: Buro Sant en Co
Concept design: Buro Sant en Co
Preliminary design: Buro Sant en Co in cooperation with DS+V (Municipality of Rotterdam)
Definite design: DS+V (Municipality of Rotterdam)

Assignment giver: Municipality of Rotterdam
Size: 80.000 m2
Realisation: 2009 – 2014
Architecture of the building (shops and parking garage underneath the park): Butzelaar CS
Supervision: Wytze Patijn

Metalco ArchInteligence

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