Rotterdam Visserijplein (NL)


Project scale L/S - urban + architecture/ architecture + context

Location Rotterdam, Bospolder Tussendijken, Visserijplein

Population 650,000 inhabitants

Strategic site 61.5 ha – Site of project 2.2 ha 

Site proposed by Municipality of Rotterdam

Actors involved Municipality of Rotterdam, Delfshaven Coöperatie, St. Park 1943, Havensteder, Bibliotheek Rotterdam, Pier 80

Owner of the site Public and private ownership

Commission after competition Design (or research-by- design) assignment on implementation on the project site (or a site with similar characteristics) commissioned by the municipality of Rotterdam and/or private partners

Team representative Architect - urbanist

More Information

How can the site contribute to a productive city?

The accessibility of learning environments in the broad sense is crucial for the empowerment of vulnerable citizens and the future career opportunities of children. Improving the resilience of residents in vulnerable urban neighbourhoods, like Bospolder Tussendijken (BoTu), requires a local network of places with a mix of functions to meet, learn, make, play and work. Transforming natural meeting places, like the Visserijplein in the heart of BoTu, into such a multifunctional ‘hub’ ensures that these new interaction milieus are deeply rooted in the daily life of residents.

City strategy

The City of Rotterdam seeks opportunities in the combination of accommodating its growth and creating a more inclusive city. To lift the socioeconomic status of vulnerable neighbourhoods, like BoTu, it focuses on improving the perspective of vulnerable residents in the area. To this end, it aims to remove barriers so that everyone can participate more easily in social and societal processes, with equal opportunities in education, work, culture and sports. Upgrading and diversifying the housing stock, and improving educational infrastructures are important basic strategies. In addition, strategic urban interventions – new developments on a relatively small scale and a more attractive public space – are used to embed mixed programmes and facilities in the heart of these neighbourhoods, empowering residents of all ages on multiple levels and building a just and equitable city.

Site definition

The project site is located in the heart of BoTu. The site is bordered on three sides by archetypal serially produced housing blocks (partly after the Second World War) and on one side by Park 1943. Twice a week the square is the setting of a busy market. On the other days of the week, it is a large underused open space. Pier 80, a multifunctional community centre, is located on one end of the square. It includes a library, sport facilities, and (co)work and meeting spaces. The current programme of Pier 80 already attracts many residents, but should be more progressive. The challenge is to design a multifunctional building block in the heart of a multicultural, vulnerable neighbourhood, incorporating (part of) the local market and providing space to new forms of living, meeting, learning, making, playing and working – by analogy of new concepts like the Library of the Future – to give the area a socioeconomic boost.

How is production inserted in the urban diversity programme?

Rotterdam is growing. The city aims to build 50,000 new homes in the next decade and to vigorously enhance the quality and energy performance of the existing built environment. Rotterdam is looking for ‘good growth’: building a compact, circular, productive, healthy and inclusive city with equal opportunities and high quality of living for everyone. It aims to be a vibrant and welcoming place for people of all walks of life, ages and beliefs, enabling them to prosper. Citizens of Rotterdam should be able to live productive lives by working, learning, caring or in any other way contributing to the development of the city and its narratives. Therefore, it is important to remove barriers, to increase connectivity.
Europan 15 focuses on sites that might catalyse opportunities on multiple levels, places of meaning that might enhance the city’s social resiliency. These are some of the abstract notions rooted in the new Rotterdam vision and regulatory framework on spatial and socioeconomic developments, called the Omgevingsvisie. This framework is currently being drafted by the municipality. It should accelerate innovative spatial solutions and sustainable socioeconomic developments. It is supported by an extensive participatory process and an action research program. The Europan15 sites have been selected to implement this process, through research-by-design and its aim of implementing exemplary projects.


Visserijplein weekly market
Visserijplein on market days


Visserijplein and housing units
Building typologies of the project site: residential units & small shops

Questions on the site

I have download all the information after the registration from the complete site folder. Its all plan at different scale, is there any way to get some section of the area or a 3d of the context in order to have also the height of the surrounding buildings? Thankyou so much

There is an online 3D model of Rotterdam: In this model you can create your own section and export the file. 

Is it possible to have the plan with the room of the Pier 80?

We are trying to get access to the file and will update the Complete Site Folder soon.

Can we have more information or document about the new housing developement plans in and near the area. Can we also have the strategic plans with the documents for the education and the Nicolaasschool improved plan

We've added the "Gebiedsatlas" to the Complete Site Folder (see subfolder: Brief). Unfortunately, the document is available in Dutch only. In short:

- Tussendijken has a dynamic urban character, Bospolder a quiet urban character; this asks for various target groups. (pp. 8-9)

- The policy for both neighbourhoods is to reduce the housing stock for lower incomes. The aim is to increase the housing stock for the top end of the middle class, and a small part for the lower end of the middle class. (pp. 11-13) 

- See also the map with the intented development per district. (p. 17)


The detailed plans for the Nicolaas school are not public. You can download the general plans here ("Integraal Huisvestingsplan"):


• SITE LIMITATIONS: 1. Are there limitation in height/number or storeys? 2. Is there a distance to be maintained from the surrounding buildings? • PROGRAM: 1. What is the maximum BVO? 2. Do you already have an idea about percentages per function?

There are no concrete building plans for the location Visserijplein yet. The Europan competition is open to new ideas and concepts for this location. Maximum BVO or percentages are therefore not provided and open for interpretation by the Europan participants. A spatial plan at this location however would benefit by taking into account the human scale. Also the plan should be an addition to the current urban fabric and relate to the historic urban fabric, and should be fitting to and adding to the surrounding spatial qualities. The location is outside the borders of the Rotterdam highrise vision.

Is it possible to demolish the existing building Pier 80 in the new planing?

Yes that is possible. Concept visions for the future design of this area also do not always include this building. These visions show complete redesign with new buildings at this location and demolition of Pier80. 

When you will be able to upload the plans for the P80? They still didn't appear in the complete site folder

The files have been uploaded in the Complete Site Folder Visserijplein. The.pdf files are called: 'Pier80 - Ground Floor Plan' and 'Pier80 - First Floor Plan'.

In the introduction it is written: In short, the challenge is to design “a” multifunctional building block. Does that mean we can have only one building? Or could it be several buildings?

You are free to choose either to envision one building or several buildings. Also you are free to decide if you want to transform the existing buildings or demolish them. 

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