Deconstructing Rotterdam's modern city centre


In the 20th century, the Dutch city of Rotterdam was radically transformed from a historic town into a modern city, becoming the selfacclaimed 'city of architecture', home to international architectural design offices, publishers and institutions. Although it is already 60 years after the destruction of the Rotterdam inner city, the city still struggles to be the vibrant, rigorous urban environment it needs to be in order to attract the so-called creative class.

This article provides a contextual overview of the transformations of a number of key public spaces that are symbolic for the challenges the city faces. After the post-war reconstruction the city continue to transform itself beyond modernism.


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Author Biography

Frank van der Hoeven

Ph.D., Associate Professor Urban Design and Director of Research at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) (Netherlands)

How to Cite
VAN DER HOEVEN, Frank. Deconstructing Rotterdam's modern city centre. project baikal, Russian Federation, n. 36, p. 60-71, may 2013. ISSN 2309-3072. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 16 dec. 2019. doi:


urban design; public space; modernism; Nieuwe Bouwen; reconstruction; Rotterdam; city centre; Coolsingel; Lijnbaan; Rotterdam; Forum Rotterdam; Cool63; Schouwburgplein; Dudok; MVRDV; OMA; West 8; Allies & Morrison; Benthem & Crouwel