Rotterdam – Taking inspiration from modular buildings, Timmerhuis, Rotterdam’s new city hall, is a future-proof, shape-shifting behemoth.
Timmerhuis is a steel and glass structure comprising smaller units that are gradually set back to form two irregular peaks, giving the appearance of a stack of children’s building blocks.
Grandiose in design, yet green in credentials, the building features prefabricated steel framing, solar panels and a shading system. Due to the nature of steel, the design is fluid and can be easily modified. ‘A good urban building can accommodate as many unforeseen events as possible,’ architect Reinier de Graaf, a partner at OMA, told Fast Company. The irregularity of the design means that new units can be added without the imposing look and feel of a typical extension.
‘We wanted to make a building that looked improvised, unfinished and worked with an aesthetic of randomness,’ says de Graaf. ‘If it could operate at a certain level of coincidence, it could echo Rotterdam’s present state.’