The project aims to reconfigure the image of the centre by inserting a mixed-use development on the site.

Two observations triggered the design of a cube for Coolsingel. Firstly, the central position of the site, where Rotterdam's most important pedestrian streets meet: Coolsingel, Lijnbaan, Binnenweg and Beurstraverse. The second observation is that Rotterdam's recent construction consists almost entirely of towers. High-rises create an impressive skyline, but their mono-functionality and lack of engagement with the surrounding public domain fails to create an attractive centre.


Instead of yet another tower project competing for height, the project aims to reconfigure the image of the centre by inserting the pure form of the cube. The cube spatially reorganizes its surroundings and generates floors that can facilitate for a wide range of (public) programs. A system of voids introduces daylight inside the cube and generates views to the surroundings from within.

To facilitate to different yet unknown users during changing market conditions, strategies to generate flexibility become an essential part of the design process. The upper half of the cube combines voids with volumes that facilitate a generic program: residential, offices and hotel. Each floor measures 1,000m2 and 16.2m in width. Each block can be (re)utilized for either office, residential or hotel program. The voids generate public platforms and can contain culture and leisure programs.

The retail program in the lower half connects the project seamlessly with the surrounding public domain. Three public levels generate a concentrated three dimensional network of pedestrian streets. The passage on the ground floor connects the north and south side entrance, the lower floor connects with the Beurstraverse and the metro, the upper floor connects the Coolsingel with the Lijnbaan.

The site appears as an accidental collision of individual buildings, the evidence of a discontinuous urban development, dominated by the ABN-AMRO bank on Coolsingel. This impressive building was the first to be erected in the centre after the air raid in May 1940 that largely destroyed Rotterdam and now a national monument. New retail program will enhance accessibility and reinvigorate the monument, while the current owner, ABN-AMRO, will remain an important user in the future. OMA considers it a challenge to integrate this valuable building within the design. Both the existing and the new building will form an uninterrupted network.

Sustainable concepts play an integral role in the design. The project's aim is the realization of the first mixed-use building that includes retail with a BREEAM "Excellent" rating.

Design Development

Multi Vastgoed

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

80,000m2 including offices, residential, retail, cinema, restaurants, museum and hotel


Partners-in-charge: Reinier de Graaf, Rem Koolhaas, Floris Alkemade (2007-2008)

Project Architect: Mark Veldman

Team Concept Design 2010 - Design Development 2011: Kaveh Dabiri, Anita Ernodi, Alasdair Graham, Maaike Hawinkels, Jin Man Jo, Marcelina Kolasinska, Christopher Lunde, Khaled Malas, Thiago Maso, Ian Mills, Slobodan Radoman, Mariano Sagasta, Tjeerd van de Sandt, Magdalena Stanescu, Miguel Taborda, Marta Torrecillas, Natacha Viveiros.

Team Preliminary Design 2009: Vilhelm Christensen, Sebastien Delagrange, Jake Forster, Pierre de Montigny, Mendel Robbers, Milos Zivkovic, Tom Tang, Nurdan Yakup.

Team Concept Design 2008: Chantal Aquilina, Nicholas Batelli, Andrea Bertassi, Philippe Braun, Billy Guidoni, Jonas Klock, Barend Koolhaas, Ju Hong Park, Luis Pompeo Martins.


Local Architect

Co-architect Adaptive Re-use
Wessel de Jonge Architecten

Structural Engineer
Zonneveld Ingenieurs

MEP / Sustainability
Techniplan Consulting Engineers

Fire Safety
Van Elst & Roelofs Plancoördinatie

Building Physics / Acoustics
Peutz Consulting Engineers

Model photography
Frans Partesius