Rotterdam's Floating Rooftop

  • In a tour with my students through the city of Rotterdam, we passed this amazing rooftop floating in the Rotte (the river that Rotterdam gave its name). This classic Dutch one-family house rooftop shows to be a piece of Waterworld-like architecture that Kevin Costner would be proud of. In fact, the work sets a gruesome argument: it outlines the picture that the world would see from Rotterdam when only one dike collapses. Over six million people live in Holland’s most dense metropolitan area called the Randstad, which Rotterdam belongs to. Nearly all of these people live below sea level, but aren’t hardly aware of the dangerours situation they are in. Welfare sick as we all are, we just can’t imagine that something goes wrong within our over-protected society.

    This work is part of an open air gallery on the river, called Galerie op de Rotte. The installation was made by Bjørn Andreassen, Kim Hemmes and Job Martens. With this work they try to rethink the concept of a traditional Dutch house for the next decades. It should change functions, is their argument. The dormer could be used as a door, with a floating platform that functions as a terrace in front, while, at the same time, the ceiling becomes the living room. Whatever these guys propose, my simple and not-at-all-arty suggestion would be to just keep the water out for a while.