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Female, LGBTQIA+ owned

Rotterdam, NL


KCAP Progress Construction on the Piekstraat Tower, in Rotterdam

Jun 17, '24 12:08 PM EST

The Piekstraat Tower is a high-rise residential building situated on one of Rotterdam's historic harbours, with views over the river Maas and the city centre. Several very special drive-in lofts, allow owners to showcase their automobiles as art, in a glass-enclosed parking space, visible from their living rooms.

Rotterdam Zuid is an area of the city that is undergoing a decades-long revitalisation, which has been in process since the 1990s. The neighbourhood is known for being home to numerous small industrial harbours along the river Maas, many of which are no longer in use. Rising at the southern end of one of these—named the Persoons Habour—is a new hi-rise residential tower that will eventually climb to the height of c. 74 metres, including c. 140 apartments that range in size from c. 62 to c. 228 m2. It is also, one of the first major new residential projects to be built, on one of these smaller harbours. A key distinction of the tower is its gridded, glazed façade, and its stacked volumes that subtly shift and in some places, cantilevering to create a silhouette that seems to twist-and turn, upon approach.

Historically, the Piekstraat came to prominence in the early-twentieth century, when Hunter Douglas established its factory here, making aluminum jalousies and transforming the immediate surrounding into a centre for industrial production. The new factory soon became a major employer and a social cornerstone for the local community, fostering a strong connection between the industrial site and residential neighbourhoods. As many of these early-twentieth century buildings have recently been vacated, the entire area is set to become the nucleus of reinvigorated, repurposed corner of the city. 

Today, the area around Piekstraat is undergoing significant redevelopment aimed at preserving its industrial character while integrating modern urban living. The overarching urban plan, emphasises maintaining the spatial unity and historical character of the former factory complex. Key aspects also include making the quays and factory streets publicly accessible, and preventing the privatisation of outdoor spaces, so that this area's communal feel and character are preserved. This vision entails creating new housing units and repurposing industrial buildings, for residential and commercial use.

The Piekstraat Tower is meant to be the corner piece of this newly reinvigorated Rotterdam Zuid, and it is set to attract a diverse range of inhabitants, from all socio-economic levels. Its stacked, staggered silhouette is meant to recall the shipping containers, which are so prominently featured in the city’s harbour. Its ground and first few floors are all finished in brick, as a continuation of the materiality of the surrounding buildings, most of which date from the early-twentieth century. Several floors of parking separate the ground floors’ programming from the first level of residence; four of which feature in-unit parking separated by a glass wall, allowing the car to be seen from the living rooms. Oppositely, several ground floor units have access to the river and harbour, via private boat docks. 

The residential units within the tower have all been designed to impart a sense of loft-living, with extra-wide units, many of which have views in numerous directions; such as toward the city centre to the northwest, and main bend of the river Maas, to the southeast. Efforts have been directed toward fostering community integration as the area develops, blending social groups and backgrounds, to create a diverse and inclusive area of the city. The introduction of public spaces, as parks and newly accessible waterfronts, aims to enhance residents’ quality of life and connect the neighbourhood seamlessly, with the existing urban fabric. The redevelopment of the Piekstraat strives to honour its industrial roots while adapting to contemporary urban needs; ensuring that the historic significance and the robust, raw-utilitarian architecture continue to define the neighborhood’s unique character.