Rotterdam: An Architectural Short Trip

Some of you might have experienced travelling through different cities to push down the budget.

For example, in my case, I traveled with a group of friends to Amsterdam from Madrid. However, since the Madrid-Amsterdam-Madrid tickets were quite expensive, we decided to fly to Rotterdam and afterwards take a train to Amsterdam (this option was cheaper than a direct flight to Amsterdam). We stayed a night in Rotterdam and had around 4 hours to go sightseeing in Rotterdam before catching our train.

We were lucky that we had a friend to show us around the main sights. If you don’t have a friend to show you around, make sure to google the city you’re about to visit and make good use of your time! 😉

Rotterdam was heavily destroyed during World War II, that’s why they built new buildings to replace the old ones. However, as we went walking by the main street, we saw some old buildings standing beside new ones. It was a unique scene to witness.

Stadthuis
Stadthuis
Look at how the graphics gradually change into the facade's texture.
Look at how the graphics gradually change into the facade’s texture.

The market hall was designed by MVRDV architects and is a market surrounded by apartments. It’s a concept of combining living and social activities in the same place. The half-cylindric building stood out as it stands in the middle of a wide field, across an old church/cathedral (was it Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk?).

Markthal
Markthal

Near the market hall, we saw two unique buildings. One was an apartment/tower (I don’t know what it was), which reminded me of the Russian movement in modern architecture. The other was a library, with pipes popping outside the buildings in primary colors, creating a very 60s sight.

The apartment tower
The apartment tower
I really love how the window shapes and the balcony balance each other and create a pretty composition.
I really love how the window shapes and the balcony balance each other and create a pretty composition.
The Rotterdam library
The Rotterdam library

The main highlight of this short visit was the Kijk-kubus, a series of rotated cubes painted in yellow which serve as living apartments. It was very cubist, very geometric. It was something that I’ve only seen in Art History classes, but never in real life, so seeing this up close felt like being surreal.

Kijk-kubus
Kijk-kubus
Cube houses up close. Yes, there are people living inside.
Cube houses up close. Yes, there are people living inside.
Kijk-kubus information poster
Kijk-kubus information poster
The cube houses seen from the street
The cube houses seen from the street

Last but not least was the Rotterdam Centraal station. It was a wide building with an open concept, but it created enough warmth inside (this visit was made in December). The main lobby had an open concept and its entrance was shaped like a thorn envolved in corten steel.

Main entrance of Rotterdam Centraal
Main entrance of Rotterdam Centraal
The other side of the station
The other side of the station
Main lobbby of the station.
Main lobbby of the station.

The next time you have to make a very short transit in any city, find out about that place and use your time to explore that city. You never know what you might encounter ❤

Love,

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