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Rotterdam unveils a "City within a City"

If you haven't visited Rotterdam in the last four or five years, you are in for a pleasant surprise! The megalithic Vertical City Building, which was unveiled recently is being hailed as a “city within a city”. It was completed on November 21st after less than four years of work by leading international architect Rem Koolhas. The city’s archetypical skyline has been pleasantly altered by this flawless work of art.

The imperial building comprises three interconnected high-rises that occupy a total space of 160,000 square m. Within its premises are apartments, shops, conference rooms, a hotel, restaurants and a fitness facility. The Vertical City Building is the first wave of an ambitious construction project that is being undertaken in Rotterdam’s old port area, including the Wilhelmina pier and extending all the way along the Meuse River. The objective was to inject life into the neighborhood, whilst creating a space for leisure, entertainment, shopping, housing and offices.

The Vertical City occupies a massive area that is equivalent to the size of a football field. It boasts of 240 apartments and 60,000 square meters of offices. Little doubt that this city within a city will soon become one of the most densely populated areas in Holland. Prior to the Vertical City, Rem Koolhas and his firm OMA designed and built yet another phenomenal structure - De Rotterdam which aspires to be one of the greenest most environmentally friendly buildings in the Netherlands.

Rem Koolhas has attempted to do the same with the Vertical City building. The construction of the building took 40,000 drawings, 4 years and 800 workers to build. The precision planning, skill and toil that went into the buildings’ construction have collectively conspired to make it a treasured architectural icon of the city. Around 85% of the building has been purchased or leased. They expect a footfall of 5,000 people a day.

Rem Koolhas and his firm OMA are an award winning architectural company. The brand has won many prestigious international awards, including the Pritzker architecture prize in 2,000, the Praemium Imperiale in 2003 and the Riba Gold medal in2004. The firm was awarded the coveted Mies van der Rohe for contemporary architecture by the European Unionin 2005. In 2010, OMA was felicitated with the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010.

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