Test Site Rotterdam

The international Curator Team has been working since 2009 with local parties in Rotterdam, São Paulo and Istanbul on current urban issues. Open and new alliances between urban designers, academics, businesses, developers and local authorities form the driving forces behind these projects. They will be presented to the public during the 5th IABR: Making City. The aim is to actually realise the concrete solutions after the 5th edition has ended.

Rotterdam Central District
Just as in many other cities, many square metres of office space lie empty in the Rotterdam Central District. But unlike other cities, most of these empty buildings are in the city centre. In the area between Centraal Station, Weena and Pompenburg, otherwise known as Rotterdam Central District, there is around 100.000 m2 of unused space. This is the equivalent of the surface area of around 1200 homes. Vacant buildings drain the area of life – there are fewer shops, fewer people, less atmosphere, less local economy and fewer interactions: in short, all the things that make a city vibrant. At the same time, there is a desperate need for smaller living and working units in the city. The challenge is to transform this city district in such a way that it becomes a lively part of the city.

Test Site Rotterdam
Test Site Rotterdam is a project by the IABR and the architecture office ZUS that focuses on the Rotterdam Central District. Vitality must be restored to this urban district. Although in today’s market economy, it’s hard to say when that will happen. Experiments with strategies to revitalize the heart of the city using alternative forms of funding, planning processes and design tools are taking place at Test Site Rotterdam. The projects include the Roof Gardens, Park Pompenburg and an elevated walkway (the Luchtsingel). Test Site Rotterdam runs until 2014 and is one of the platforms on which the 6th IABR is being developed.


I / We / You Make Rotterdam
Under the title I / We / You Make Rotterdam ZUS is initiating a number of projects to develop the city, in conjunction with citizens and businesses in Rotterdam. The first project of I / We / You Make Rotterdam is called Luchtsingel (‘Raised Promenade’), a temporary pedestrian bridge between Central Station, Pompenburg and Hofbogen. The people of Rotterdam are helping to complete this new connection in the city through crowdfunding. Everybody can buy a plank with their name printed on it. The proceeds will help finance the construction of the Luchtsingel. Construction of the Luchtsingel began in March 2012. - More information about I / We / You Make Rotterdam in the program overview.

> Follow I / We / You Make Rotterdam via www.imakerotterdam.nl.


Elma van Boxel, Kristian Koreman (co-curators 5th IABR: Making City and founders of ZUS)
parties involved
Stakeholders in the area (Rotterdam Central District Association, the City Department of Urban Development, Hofbogen Project Office), cultural institutions (Motel Mozaïque, Rotterdam Climate Initiative, Rotterdam Festivals) and educational institutions (Delft University of Technology, Rotterdam University, Willem de Kooning Academy, University of Michigan), and design practice (N H D M).

Test Site Rotterdam is funded by the Dutch Architecture Fund.