Form and the City

Exhibition Form and the City. Photo: George Brugmans
    • from June 3 to July 1, 2007
    • Deelgemeentekantoor Feijenoord
    • Paul Krugerstraat 181, Rotterdam

‘Design a building to express Rotterdam South's new-found strength': that is the assignment 60 students from home and abroad have to work with during the Master Class Form and the City, organized by the Architecture Biennale and the Berlage Institute in association with Columbia University. This edition's Masters are Elia Zenghelis (architect and cofounder of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture), Joan Ockman (Columbia University) and Pier Vittorio Aureli (Berlage Insitute).

    • Credits
Maashaven. Photo: Dieuwertje Komen
Students at the welcome reception in the Berlage Institute. Photo: IABR

Rotterdam South Pact 

After years of economic decline, urban decay and the exodus of its shops and middle-income inhabitants, the south bank of Rotterdam is now earmarked as an up-and-coming area, on the threshold of a revival. The Rotterdam South Pact is a programme in which city and borough councils, housing associations, welfare organizations and the business community work together to restore Rotterdam South to the smart and economically resilient area it once was. Over the next ten years they will invest in better housing, attractive streetscapes, young entrepreneurs and education, welfare and sports services.

Master class assignment

The Rotterdam South Pact programme aims to reinforce neighbourhoods by developing a series of multifunctional buildings that are to become Rotterdam South's new icons: distinct, attractive landmarks. The students were asked to design cultural community centres for seven locations in the Rotterdam boroughs of Feijenoord, Charlois and IJsselmonde. For two weeks, the students immerse themselves in the specific characteristics of the various locations and design buildings for each of them. The nine participating schools of architecture are based all over the world, from Chile to China. 

The Wielslag location in Bloemhof, for instance, combines education and health care, while the Persoonsdam in Feijenoord focuses on sports facilities. The Maashaven in Charlois will house education facilities as well as young entrepreneurs, and the design for the Slaghek location in Hillesluis will accommodate functions that are complementary to the Mosque next door, such as cultural facilities and attractive public space. The remaining Master Class locations are: Slinge Metro Station, Rijnhaven on the Kop van Zuid and Groene Tuin in IJsselmonde.