What if the city would have a second on ground level at rooftop height? What if all urban roofs were part of a public Skyforest interconnected by sky bridges? The Rotterdam Rooftop Walk aims to demonstrate the possibilities of otherwise empty and unused rooftops. At a height of 30 metres, designed by Rotterdam Rooftop Days and MVRDV, the highlight of this installation is a bridge spanning the Coolsingel, one of Rotterdam’s most important streets.
The Rooftop Walk aims to give the public a new perspective on the city. The extensive programming along the bright orange 600-metre route over the Bijenkorf warehouse rooftop should increase visitors’ awareness of the potential of roofs, which can become a ‘second ground level’ that makes the city more liveable, biodiverse, sustainable, and healthy. By opening up and rewilding the urban roof landscape, a new nature reserve is created for the entire city: think of it as the Rotterdam Skyforest.
The temporary installation is an initiative of Rotterdam Rooftop Days, with a rooftop designed by MVRDV in collaboration with LOLA Landscape Architects. The rooftop programming can help with major issues such as climate change, the housing crisis, and the transition to renewable energy; the Rooftop Walk draws attention to these problems – making visitors more aware of the possibilities, especially in a city like Rotterdam where 18.5 km2 of flat roofs remains unused.
Landscape Architecture: LOLA Landscape Architects
Design and Construction: 2022
Concept: Rotterdam Rooftop Days, MVRDV
Design: Rotterdam Rooftop Days, MVRDV, Dutch Steigers, LOLA
Production & programming: Rotterdam Rooftop Days
Rooftop design: Rotterdam Rooftop Days, LOLA
Rooftop construction: Rotterdam Rooftop Days, LOLA, Donkergroen, Ebben
Team: Eric-Jan Pleijster, Raf Rooijmans, Joost van den Ven
Photography © Ossip van Duivenbode, LOLA Landscape Architects