Test Site Rotterdam

20.04.12 - 19.08.12

Location: Schieblock and surroundings, Rotterdam

In the context of Making City, architecture office ZUS is getting down to business in the Central District of Rotterdam – the zone between Central Station, Weena and Pompenburg. ZUS calls on the citizens of Rotterdam to get involved and help shape the future of the city. 

This area, the so called Test Site Rotterdam, is a long-term project by the IABR and ZUS that runs until 2014. Activities in the Rotterdam Central District will intensify during the 5th IABR: Making City. ZUS hopes to improve the quality of the area in an affordable and proactive way through interventions like the Luchtsingel (elevated walkway), the Roof Garden and pop-up stores. This city district must become a thriving area once again.

Test Site Rotterdam is funded by the Netherlands Architecture Fund.

Test Site Experience

Exhibition 'Grand Prix du Sud' (RiverClub Gallery)

06.07.12 - 27.07.12
The 'Grand Prix du Sud' is a new annual prize for the best urban design idea for Rotterdam-Zuid. Each submission becomes part of an ever-expanding exhibition that will travel through the city. The exhibition at the RiverClub Gallery (6 – 27 July) highlights the 100 best ideas received so far, presented on a landscape of 100 identical plinths. For more information, see www.stedelinks010.nl.

Exhibition 'Design as Politics' (Mini Mall)

20.04.12 - 07.07.12
Student projects reveal a very different side of today’s urban development, rooted in the belief that architecture and urban design can offer political solutions. > Read more

Tour Café (espresso bar Lungo)

30.06.12 - 22.07.12
During the Tour de France (from 30 June – 22 July), espresso bar Lungo (Delftseplein 39) will be transformed into an arty paradise for cycle racing fans. Visitors to the Tour Café can follow each stage of Le Tour daily from 15.00 on a mega-screen in the café. And there’ll be plenty of entertainment afterwards, with lively chats with invited experts about the highs and lows of the day, the heroism of La Grande Boucle and their passion for Cycling and Rotterdam. And that’s not all – there’s live music on certain dates, and a Tour Quiz for all cycling fanatics. For more information, see www.tourcafe.nl.

Milk Bar (RiverClub Gallery)

From 29.06.12
The-first-of-its-kind Milk Bar opens its door in the Schieblok area of Rotterdam. This pop-up space will run for the summer, inviting people to enjoy a wide range of fast nutritious milk drinks such as smoothies, milk, and yoghurt made of local, fresh ingredients. Yet, its aim doesn’t only lie in providing fun & healthy drinks but also in bringing a lively vibe into a rather neglected part of the city. For more information, see themilkbar.nl.


The Luchtsingel is a temporary wooden pedestrian bridge that will reconnect the city centre of Rotterdam with the northern districts. The Luchtsingel is part of Test Site Rotterdam, 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. The first section of the promenade is already installed. > Read more on www.imakerotterdam.nl

Think Tank (Schieblock)

As part of the Test Site Rotterdam, the Think Tank is currently exhibiting projects developed by local stakeholders, cultural and educational institutions, and design practices that test these new models and tools for 'making city'. The exhibit includes drawings, models, as well as full-scale interventions throughout the Test Site.

The Test Site Think Tank provides the opportunity to explore new models and tools for the city. For this we use the method of a ‘sabbatical detour’. Outside the conventions of planning, we initiate experimental research in design. This leads to planning alternatives that can inspire. IABR participants include Schieblock, Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Versaille, TU Delft, The University of Michigan, Inside Royal Academy of Arts The Hague, The Fresh Foundation,  and N H D M / Nahyun Hwang + David Eugin Moon.

> More information about the Think Tank and credits (PDF)

Roof Garden (Schieblock)

The plans by Codum and architecture firm ZUS for Rooftop Crops on top of the Schieblock building are becoming a reality. With the help of Rooftop Farmer Annelies Kuipers, fruit and vegetables will soon grow here, and bees will buzz around their hives. IABR Tours is one of the ways you can visit the Rooftop Crops project during the 5th IABR: Making City. > Read more on the IABR blog

Pop-Up Stores (Schieblock)

During the 5th IABR: Making City there are several pop-up stores in the Schieblock. Drinks and snacks are also available at various pop-up restaurants on Test Site Rotterdam from Thursday to Sunday between 12.00 and 20.00 hrs.

Vrijdagmiddagkaffee (De Dépendance)

Every Friday afternoon during the 5th IABR: Making City, the Dépendance is organising conversations and film screenings in an informal setting, either by invitation or spontaneously. The Friday Afternoon Cafés tempt passers-by and occupants of the Test Site Rotterdam inside to finish the week with a beer. While there, they can listen to stories about new ways of city making. Various guests — both professionals and citizens, all of them pioneers in the city — will engage in conversations at the bar with alternative hosts for no longer than three-quarters of an hour. The hosts are Bart Cosijn, Ernest van der Kwast and Hajo Doorn.

The Friday Afternoon Cafés take place every Friday from 20 April to 17 August. (In Dutch only)
More information in the calendar.

Urban Meetings (De Dépendance)

In a series of seven public talks hosted by Bart Cosijn, people involved with the city will present their ideas about ‘making city’. These Urban Meetings take place every two weeks on Tuesday evenings (20.00 – 22.00 hours) from 8 May to 31 July in the Dépendance (Rotterdam). (In Dutch only)
For the latest schedule, see our calendar.