Despite being nearly destroyed by World War II bombing, Rotterdam has since been reborn, transforming itself into a futuristic architectural wonderland replete with innovative contemporary constructions. Here are a few of the Dutch city’s must-see structures, which showcase the exuberance and ingenuity of its architecture.
Designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom in the 1970s, this series of cubic houses was one of the inventive postwar development projects that helped put Rotterdam on the architectural map. The tilted cube-shaped residences sit atop a pedestrian bridge, which spans a busy traffic thoroughfare. Their eye-catching appearance makes them a must on Rotterdam walking and sightseeing tours. Go inside the Kijk-Kubus (Show-Cube) to see what it’s like to live in one.
Markthal (Market Hall)
Though it only opened in 2014, Markthal has quickly established itself as one of Rotterdam’s architectural highlights. While this inverted U-shaped building is filled with apartments and offices, the space underneath the curve serves as a food market.
Another relatively recent addition to the Rotterdam cityscape, the remodeled Central Station opened in 2014. Every day, thousands of passengers rush through here to catch trains, metros, or trams, but it’s worth lingering a while to admire its design, particularly the angular metal-clad entrance at the south side of the station.
Connecting the northern and southern halves of the city, this 2,631-foot-long (802-meter-long) cable-stay bridge has been christened the Swan. Erected in 1996, it is now a symbol of the city and is best viewed from the water’s edge or during cruises along the Nieuwe Maas river.
Designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, this series of stacked towers is one of the biggest developments in the Netherlands. With the towers cut in two at the midway point, and the top halves precariously and unevenly stacked, De Rotterdam is somewhat reminiscent of a kid’s building-block tower.