MVRDV, The Stairs; Rotterdam


To celebrate 75 years of reconstruction after the devastation of the Second World War (the city centre was almost flattened by the Germans on May 14th 1940) the City of Rotterdam has organized some events.

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One of them is The Stairs, a huge flight of stairs on scaffolding to climb one of the landmarks of modernist reconstruction in the city, the Groothandelsgebouw (Wholesale Building), built in 1951 by Hugh Maaskant (1907-1977).

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The Stairs is a project by MVRDV. I climbed The Stairs this week and it gives a great view of Stationsplein (Station square) with Centraal Station (Central Station) the brand new and wonderful railway station.

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The panorama’s from the roof top are wonderful, giving a good view of the still reconstructing and expanding city from modernism to post-postmodernism.

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It also grants you a very special view of Maaskant’s great building.

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But finest of all is probably the scaffolding itself, just as it is, without any decorations.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]


Bertus Pieters