Producing the Contemporary City

24 May - 2 September 2007
PowerNotes #07
Form and the City: The winners

On Friday 1 June, the results of the master class Form and the City were presented at the Kunsthal. 

Rotterdam - zondag 3 June 2007


Pier Vittorio Aureli (Berlage Institute), one of the three masters, explained that the aim of this master class is to strengthen engagement with the city and Rotterdam Zuid in particular. In today's visual culture, there is a tendency to want buildings to be unique, so that any connection to their context disappears. The master class looked for new connections between form and the city.


Designs were produced for seven locations throughout Rotterdam Zuid, each design providing a robust identity to the location and at the same time initiate a social connection to the neighbourhood or district.

First price: New from Old

Tsinghua University Beijing, China; Mentor: Brian Chang; Participants: Xia Guo Fan, Gu Jun, Tang Yang, Zhang Ye


The winning plan, ‘New from Old' is an ingenious proposal for the Maashaven metro station and the adjacent grain silo, which is over 100 years old. The plan, produced by a team from Tsinghua University (Beijing), consists of a sloping surface that links the higher-situated level of the metro with the water. The powerful form reinforces the monumentality of the grain silo and links the area with a cosmopolitan abode. Under the deck are shops, galleries and a venue for weddings.


The jury felt the imaginative representation went beyond the set programme. Historic heritage and the future are intertwined in a brilliant way. The public space connects well with the context and the iconic effect is excellent. 


The prize was accepted by the mentor of the Chinese team, Brian Chang, as the students had already flown home the morning before the awards ceremony. Chang praised the students' efforts and said, ‘we came to learn and share ideas.' 

Second price: Civic Interlock 

Berlage Institute; Mentor: Miguel Robles-Duran; Participants: Seung Jeong Hong, Tzu-en Hsu, Fairuz Reza Razali, Tsai-Ching Tsai, Zhongping Wu


The second prize was awarded to ‘Civic Interlock'. The post-war structure of IJsselmonde also features a profusion of public space. The paradox is that there is a shortage of usable public space for communication and encounter: there is no formal public space. Hardly any activities take place in the abundant greenery. The proposal is to create a social and spatial condenser by combining a pergola structure with a plaza-like deck, thereby linking two neighbourhoods. The jury was charmed by the retro idiom of form from the 1960s in this clever intervention, which reinforces the architecture of this district.

Third price: Outline of the Core

MIT (Cambridge, Boston, USA)

Mentor: Alexander d'Hooghe

Participants: Neeraj Bhatia, Andrea Brennen, James Graham, James Shen


The third prize was awarded to the team from MIT (Cambridge, Boston, USA) for the Slinge location. Their proposal involves reshaping and condensing the structure of the post-war city, with its surfeit of public space, around the Slinge metro station into a rectangular plaza. Its soft, frayed edges are articulated by walls in which there is space for shops, neighbourhood facilities as well as cafés and restaurants. The plaza itself can serve as a market square and link the districts of Pendrecht and Zuidwijk.


Both the Pact op Zuid and the Berlage Institute responded with enthusiasm to the high quality of the projects. The 14 plans provide a wealth of inspiration and opportunities to continue working on the future of Rotterdam Zuid.


De jury of the masterclass consists of chairman Vedran Mimica (Berlage Instituut), Christine de Baan (IABR), Mauro Parravicini (OMA), Michelle Provoost (WiMBY! / Crimson), Karin Schrederhof (Pact op Zuid/ Vestia), Oliver Thill (Kempe Thill Architects)


From 3 June to 1 July, the designs are on view on the 5th floor of the offices of the borough of Feijenoord, which offer visitors a view of nearly all Master-Class locations.

Free entrance:  Paul Krugerstraat 181 (near Metro Maashaven).  


see impressions Award ceremony...

panels first price winner...

panels second price winner...

panels third price winner...


"This is not a mountain full of houses, it is a house as big as a mountain."

(Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner in Carácas. The Informal City, 2007)