De Rotterdam

Vertical city

De Rotterdam

Design: Rem Koolhaas

Icon at the Maas

Since 2013, on the Rotterdam Wilhelmina pier, on a plot the size of a football field, proudly rises a complete, vertical city. De Rotterdam, as the impressive building is called, offers 160,000 m² of space.

The building includes offices, restaurants, apartments and a hotel. The whole structure is wrapped in the iconic design by the architect Rem Koolhaas and was developed by OVG Real Estate. Over a short period of time, De Rotterdam has grown to become a prominent part of the skyline. The inside of the building is at least as distinctive as the outside.


Wilhelmina 177, Rotterdam


MAB Development, FGH Bank


OMA, Rem Koolhaas


160.000 m2


Amvest, NH Hotelles, Municipality of Rotterdam

Completion date

21 November 2013

Energy labels

Greencalc+ A label

Parking spaces


Photo gallery

Grand in every respect


Focus on diversity

The design of De Rotterdam consists of a base of six floors up to 30 metres high. On top of the base three transparent towers are erected, 7 metres apart from each other. The entire facade of the building consists of glass. As a result, all spaces have floor to ceiling windows and the building ‘opens’ to its surroundings; the busy shipping route, the Maas, the Erasmus Bridge and the Rotterdam skyline. Public services on the ground floor and the light 8.5 metres high central hall, Rotterdam Square, being the heart of the building, also contribute to the inviting character of the building.

“De Rotterdam is an icon for our city”

Hamit Karakus, councillor for Living, Urban Economy, Real Estate and Spatial Planning and project councillor South

De Rotterdam, being so multifunctional, is a building unlike any other, especially in the Netherlands, when it comes to size and the multitude of functions under one roof. OVG Real Estate linked the internationally renowned architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm, OMA, to the project. Koolhaas did what he does best; thinking outside the box. The result is a unique design, which from both an esthetical and practical point of view, is aimed at the urban density and diversity, but also at synergy. Because of this Rotterdam now breathes the atmosphere of a sparkling city, which creates a mutual link between its users as well as between the users and the area.


A 150 metres high building is established on an area the size of a football field, which at the same time was the surface on which the entire building process took place. That required a level of logistic planning that was similar to that of the air traffic schedule of Schiphol airport. As with the airport, on the building site they worked with ‘lock operation’, within which the materials were to be delivered and processed straight away; there was no room for storage.

The removal of soil from the construction pit was done by ship, to prevent 800 trucks from driving through the city. Initially De Rotterdam was built 1 metre above ground. Due to its weight of 230,000 tons it was liable to subsiding, which meanwhile has happened. Now 1,100 concrete piles, with a total length of 23 kilometres, keep the building in place.


The building has 240 apartments, both owner-occupied and rented, and penthouses. They vary in size from 65 m² up to 250 m² and include an impressive view over the city of Rotterdam.

Design hotel

The design hotel De Rotterdam is now based in the building. The hotel has a total of 285 rooms and 2,000 m2 of conference rooms. Unique: The interior was also designed by Rem Koolhaas.

Dining with a view

De Rotterdam is intended for all inhabitants. At the banks of the Maas, in the restaurants HMB and Aqua Asia Club, everyone can enjoy a meal with a view of the Erasmus Bridge.

New part of town

On a base

The towers of De Rotterdam are close to an inviting boulevard, with catering, fitness and wellness facilities.

Transparent beauty

In order to let in as much daylight as possible, as much as 50,000 m2 of glass is used in De Rotterdam. This immense quantity of light ensures a pleasant atmosphere and provides impressive views for users everywhere in the building.

Urban character

The vertical city De Rotterdam is partly accessible to everyone, such as the Rotterdam Square: the lobby and central hall of the building. Also cafes, restaurants, the hotel and conference rooms contribute to the open and urban character of the building.

New impulse

The Maas Boulevard adds an extra dimension to De Rotterdam as well as a further impulse to the Wilhelmina pier. The lively area attracts visitors from both inside and outside of town, who intend to enjoy the view and the continuous shipping parade. De Rotterdam is accountable for a quarter of all visitors.


Vigorous lifts &
cool Maas water

Like all OVG Real Estate projects, De Rotterdam is sustainable in every detail. The building’s cooling system uses the cold water of the Maas, so no energy is wasted on cooling water, after all it’s cold enough already. The building is also provided with energy efficient lifts which, same as a laptop, switch to stand by, when they’re not in use. Even better: they generate energy for the mains system.

“This building will be the symbol of the prospects in the field of energy-effective building, for decades to come”

Herman Exalto, director Eneco Warmte & Koude

In addition De Rotterdam is connected to the sustainable, local heat network, which is used to supply heating and warm water. The building’s Electricity is locally generated by a cogeneration (CHP), which operates on bio gasses.

VideoRotterdam StillImage2

Final element of a grand plan

The principle of the De Rotterdam project was to revive the urban liveliness on the Wilhelmina pier. For decades, this place was the very centre of trade, transport and recreation. Whoever wished to cross the ocean, would start from here. But then, as the harbour activities died out, this part of the city became somewhat neglected, until in the 1990’s the municipality developed an urban planning vision and decided to involve this district. This was achieved, for instance, by building good connections, such as the Erasmus Bridge, but also by grouping various functions together in order to revive the Wilhelmina pier.

Developing De Rotterdam, OVG Real Estate created the final element of this massive urban operation. The building is now the symbol of the metamorphosis that ‘de Kop van Zuid’ went through: incorporating a large variety of urban activity to a small area. The iconic design by Rem Koolhaas adds an extra dimension and gives the building, or rather the whole area, an international appearance.

“The Rotterdam has a facade that can be approached in different ways and can not be read one way”

Rem Koolhaas, architect of De Rotterdam

De Rotterdam unmistakably carries the OVG Real Estate logo. Firstly because of the size and the ambitions of the project, the building was financed and developed during the toughest years of the economic crisis. Secondly because of the sustainable approach. The building is classified in the most energy-efficient ratings. Numerous innovations have contributed to minimal energy consumption.

But however hypermodern the building is, the past has not been forgotten: it refers to one of the cruise ships of the Holland-America Line, which in the last century used to depart from this very spot, the SS Rotterdam.


A building of superlatives

De Rotterdam is a building that is impressive in many respects. Because of the design, the building process, but mainly because of its size. Summary of the facts:

Photographer Ruud Sies followed the construction of The Rotterdam for four year and presented a photographic report on this special project in Rotterdam. No matter how state-of-the-art contemporary construction may be, building continues to be the work of humans. It is the people at the building site that invest their brains and muscles, their passion and their creativity, using tried-and-true, simple tools to guarantee solidity. They remain hidden behind the fences of the site: this photo documentary of Ruud Sies makes them visible.