Producing the Contemporary City

24 May - 2 September 2007
International master class Form and the City: The Hidden Strength of Rotterdam South

21 May - 3 June 2007

Rotterdam Zuid 


‘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).


Maashaven, Dieuwertje Komen

Image: Maashaven, Dieuwertje Komen

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.



From 3 June to 1 July, all designs will be exhibited on the top floor of the municipal district office of the municipality Feijenoord. Admission is free.


The municipality office Feijenoord is located opposite the Maashaven metro station in Rotterdam Zuid. The exhibition entrance is at the back of the building. Address Maashaven Oostzijde (eastside) 230, 3072 HS Rotterdam.


Participating schools:

Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

TU Delft, the Netherlands 

CEPT, Ahmedabad, India

Columbia University, New York, USA

Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Kansai University Tokyo, Japan

MIT, Cambridge, USA

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

UPC Barcelona, Spain


To visit the weblog Form and the City, click here



Students at the welcome reception in the Berlage Institute




“The perpetuation and increase in the empowerment of the INFORMAL communities, gives them permanent ownership of their destiny.” (Alfredo Brillembourg, 2007)