The vertiginous Rotterdam Rooftop Walk by MVRDV – an orange strip at a height of 30m – engages visitors with an under-considered layer of the city

Designed by MVRDV

From the architects:

The Rotterdam Rooftop Walk has opened to visitors, who can boldly venture across a variety of the city’s rooftops at a height of 30m. 

Designed by Rotterdam Rooftop Days and MVRDV, the highlight of this installation is a bridge spanning the Coolsingel, one of Rotterdam’s most important streets. 

The Rooftop Walk aims to give the public a new perspective on the city. 

The extensive programming should increase visitors’ awareness of the potential of roofs, which can become a “second layer” that makes the city more liveable, biodiverse, sustainable, and healthy.

The bright orange Rotterdam Rooftop Walk is 600m long and offers the public a fantastic view of the city for a month. 

In the rooftop exhibition artists, designers, and architects show how much is possible if we use our roofs efficiently for greenery, water storage, food production, and energy generation. 

On top of the installation, built by Dutch Steigers, all kinds of makers show how roofs can contribute to a sustainable, healthy and liveable city – from a virtual village to a green design for the roof of the Bijenkorf department store.

The temporary installation is an initiative of Rotterdam Rooftop Days, with the concept and design developed together with MVRDV. 

As an office, MVRDV has actively worked on solutions for the scarcity of space in the city for years, and hopes to prevent the continued urbanisation of rural areas. 

Rooftop programming can help with major issues such as climate change, the housing crisis, and the transition to renewable energy. 

The Rooftop Walk draws attention to these problems – making visitors more aware of the possibilities, especially in a city like Rotterdam where 18.5 km² of flat roofs remains unused.

In 2016, for the celebration of 75 years of Rotterdam’s reconstruction, we designed the Stairs to Kriterion, which attracted almost 370,000 visitors. 

That’s when the idea arose that it would be good to make a sequel to the project, says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. 

“I am glad that Rotterdam Rooftop Days have managed to achieve this, and I want to argue for a further sequel: we should not only occupy our roofs and make them greener but also connect them so that we can offer Rotterdammers a new rooftop park! For this, the orange carpet and the bridging of the Coolsingel are a nice initial test case.”

Credit list

Rotterdam Rooftop Walk
Gideon Maasland
Antonio Luca Coco
Rotterdam Rooftop Days, MVRDV, Dutch Steigers, Lola, e.a.
Royal Haskoning DHV, Exact advies & engineering
Rotterdam Rooftop Days
Founding partner in charge
Winy Maas, MVRDV
Design team
Gijs Rikken, Michele Tavola
Rotterdam Rooftop Days, MVRDV
Production and content programming
Rotterdam Rooftop Days

Designed by: MVRDV

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by:   Ossip van Duivenbode, Pavlos Ventouris / MVRDV, Frank Hanswijk

26 Jun, 2022

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