It may be the Netherlands’ second city, but the giant port of Rotterdam is a world capital when it comes to architecture. Revolutionary living spaces, awe-inspiring commercial buildings and the occasional medieval masterpiece jostle for space in this ever-expanding metropolis. It is hardly surprising that the city hosts the International Architecture Biennale and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. Here are just ten of its finest constructions.
The pair of riverside skyscrapers known as Maastoren are currently the tallest buildings in the Netherlands. Constructed between 2006 and 2010 and designed by the Odile Decq Benoit Cornette and Dam en Partners Architecten firms, they are made principally of aluminium that grows lighter in shade as it approaches the sky with each tower topped by a glass viewing gallery. The tallest of the pair measures 181 metres and has 44 floors while the other rises to almost 100 metres in height. Both house the offices of several prestigious corporations so unfortunately it is not possible for regular visitors to go inside, but the outside view can be admired from many spots along the River Maas.
Maastoren, Wilhelminakade 1, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
A feat of fun and functionality, Rotterdam’s stunning Market Hall holds offices and over 200 apartments, while playing host to a large, covered market hall and public space. Its grey stone exterior arches, in the shape of a horseshoe, over the interior open space where the food market takes places during the day. Coating the entirety of the inside of the archway is an enormous mural by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, portraying a colorful array of fruit, vegetables, insects and flowers. The building demonstrates how beautifully art and architecture can come together.