Witte Keizer Rotterdam, Image, Architect, Dutch Building Design, Photo, Apartments

White Emperor Development Rotterdam : De Witte Keizer

De Witte Keizer Rotterdam, Netherlands – design by KCAP Architects&Planners, Holland

16 Oct 2009

De Witte Keizer – The White Emperor

Design: KCAP Architects&Planners

The Witte Keizer is a high-rise residential building in the centre of Rotterdam that contains both apartments and commercial space. It is situated amidst existing low-rise buildings and future high-rise development. Its prominent positioning of office space and ground-floor public spaces allows it to function as a catalyst for its surroundings.

De Witte Keizer The White Emperor Rotterdam
De Witte Keizer photo © Rob t’Hart

The Witte Keizer is located on a triangular site at a bend in the River Rotte. It forms a transition between the high-rise zones along the Coolsingel and the Blaak. A high-rise building at this location also needs to respond to the existing low-rise structures.

The variations in height found in the surroundings are incorporated in the organization of the building. A distinction has been made between commercial activity, which is situated in the base, and the residential part of the building, set above it. This division is expressed on the exterior of the building as a slightly recessed vertical strip of glazing.

De Witte Keizer Rotterdam White Emperor Rotterdam White Emperor Development Rotterdam
De Witte Keizer photo © Rob t’Hart

As part of an overall urban scheme for the area, the Witte Keizer will function as a catalyst for the surrounding public space. It is situated at the corner of two streets, the Vissersdijk and the Keijzerstraat, which do not yet have the metropolitan character appropriate to their location.

They will become an extension of the shopping streets Hoogstraat and Korte Hoogstraat, and also form a connection between the city centre and two harbours, the Glashaven and the Leuvehaven.

With its transparent façades and extensive commercial activity, the ground floor of the building will become a central element in the surrounding public space. The mix of commercial and residential space will ensure it is bustling with activity at most hours of the day, emphasizing its metropolitan character.

This reintegration of residential and commercial programmes was part of the design brief for the building, in order to revitalize this area of Rotterdam. This area’s circulation scheme means that the building occupies a central position, and public functions anchor the tower in the pedestrian route from the Hoogstraat to the Blaak.

The choice of a fully automated parking garage was practical in the interest of saving space on this small site. This offers an element of interest besides the ground-floor public space, since the drop-off and retrieval machinery for the car park is situated behind a fully glazed façade.

The concept for the building’s exterior revolves around a layer of sculptural stone that frames a glazed incision in the building. The form of the building is perceived as a slender tower from various perspectives. It appears to be three towers that are connected at a number of points in order to emphasize their sculptural qualities.

This creates extra corner angles that provide the apartments with panoramic views. The ‘stone’ layer of the facades is made of prefabricated concrete embellished with a sculptural pattern, a contemporary form of mass-produced ornamentation.

White Emperor Development Rotterdam De Witte Keizer

De Witte Keizer – Building Information

General data

Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Description: Design of an apartment complex with 107 apartments, 3500m2 commercial space and 132 parking places

Project team: Han van den Born, Kees Christiaanse, Chanan Hornstra, Andreas Quednau, Hiltje Huizenga, Charitas van der Heide, Willem Appel, Teun van der Velden, Joost Smorenburg

Parties involved
Client: BPF Bouwinvest, Amsterdam
Contractor: Duravermeer, Rotterdam

Structural engineers: Ingenieursbureau Zonneveld, Rotterdam
Building services: Huygen Installatieadviseurs, Rotterdam
Building physics / fire safety: Cauberg Huygen, Rotterdam
Parking system: Stokvis Parking Systems, Deventer

Time frame
Design: 2001
Realization: 2005

De Witte Keizer Rotterdam images / information from KCAP Architects&Planners

KCAP Architects

Location: Blaak, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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