Colorful parasitic event space to top Rotterdam cultural center
MVRDV has never been a firm that's content to produce boring run-of-the-mill projects but its upcoming Podium is striking, even by its own standards. Finished in bright neon pink, the parasitic structure will create a temporary events space and viewing point on top of a cultural building in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The Podium will be situated above the Het Nieuwe Instituut, which is a stone's throw away from MVRDV's Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen and is very well suited to this kind of project thanks to the large pergola that crowns it. The new structure will reach a height of 29 m (95 ft) and will be accessed by a 143-step staircase to offer views of the nearby park and wider city (there will also be a temporary elevator for those who can't make the climb).
The publicly accessible space will measure 600 sq m (roughly 6,460 sq ft) and host a series of events including lectures, movies, and other activities. Though depicted empty of furniture in the renders, there will be some greenery planted up there and some kind of cinema screen, seating and dining areas, plus equipment for sports events. Structurally, it will consist of scaffolding as well as flooring that will later be recycled.
This approach to parasitic architecture is something that MVRDV is obviously keen on and the firm plans to explore it further soon with a series of rooftop walkways and structures in Rotterdam that will be open to the public.
"The roofs of Rotterdam have enormous potential, especially those of Het Nieuwe Instituut," explained MVRDV. "With the panoramic view from its distinctive pergola, the building by Jo Coenen inspired the design team to create a platform at 29 meters [95 ft]. Right before The Podium, May 26 will see the opening of the Rotterdam Rooftop Walk, an initiative of the Rotterdam Rooftop Days with a design by MVRDV. This installation will give free access for a month to a series of neighboring roofs in the city center that are normally closed to the public, allowing visitors to experience how making use of the rooftops can contribute to a better future for cities and city dwellers."
The Podium will open on June 1 for the Rotterdam Architecture Month Festival and will be used until August 17, after which time it will be dismantled and recycled. The project follows MVRDV's somewhat similar Mound in London, which also made use of scaffolding to create a viewing point but ended up marred in controversy, and is also reminiscent of its Stairs to Kriterion project elsewhere in Rotterdam.