Rotterdam attracts a great deal of international interest as a city of architecture. A few square kilometres of the city centre offers a complete overview of what the twentieth century has produced in terms of modern architecture. Appealing examples of pre-war architecture include the Van Nelle Factory and the Huis Sonneveld.
The innovative and adventurous period after the war is expressed in such structures as the Groothandelsgebouw, the Cube houses, the Kunsthal, the Luxor Theatre and the Erasmus Bridge. Both specialists and interested visitors find what they are looking for in Rotterdam.
Netherlands Architecture Institute
The Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) is more than just a museum. The NAi owns one of the world’s largest architectural collections, offers educational programmes, and has its own library and study hall, a bookshop with an extensive selection of books on architecture and a cosy museum café. The NAi is located in a striking building designed by architect Jo Coenen, located on the Museumpark in Rotterdam. In more than fifteen exhibitions in five exhibition rooms, the NAi gives the public an attractive introduction to historical and contemporary architecture. The showpiece of the collection is the museum home Huis Sonneveld, a hyper-modern villa from 1933, filled with light, air, space and a surprising amount of colour. The home, based on a design by architects Brinkman & Van der Vlugt, is one of the best-preserved examples of the New Building school of architecture. The interior design, with its modern, tube-based furniture and many technical gadgets, shows what modern life looked like in 1933. An audio tour makes the experience complete.
Kubuswoningen (cube homes)
The kubus or cube homes were designed by Piet Blom. He saw his design as a tree and the entire complex as a forest. Blom’s idea was to design a kind of village within a big city, a safe oasis where various functions could come to fruition. The KijkKubus is the fully furnished museum home in the Blaakse Bos. The interior was specially designed to give visitors an impression of how you can live in a cube home. Models, photo panels and screens offer additional information.
Rotterdam has a great deal to offer in the field of architecture and urban development. The recent developments in the Kop van Zuid, the post-war reconstruction, the world-renowned architecture of the New Building school: all this and more is discussed during the architecture excursions. Rotterdam ArchiGuides gives you a fresh, original introduction to Rotterdam architecture and urban development.
The wide range of choices includes: Rotterdam, modern city of architecture, a bus excursion along the city’s highlights; New Rotterdam, a bus tour along the most recent buildings along the river; Kop van Zuid walk, focusing on the rapidly progressing construction of this new, spectacular city district.