Completing and diversifying a post-war neigbourhood
Kop van Katendrecht
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Programme: 68 apartments, 60 single family houses
In the nineteenth century, the peninsula Katendrecht in Rotterdam was an idyllic stop on the route from Amsterdam to Antwerp. In the first half of the twentieth century, the district was a vibrant centre of maritime nightlife, but from the sixties, when the port moved to the west, it went into decline. In recent decades Katendrecht had the reputation of being the most neglected and run-down neighbourhood in Rotterdam and the image was determined largely by prostitution, street fights, and drug nuisance. Like many other historic harbour areas, the beauty of the area was rediscovered late twentieth century. The peninsula underwent a complete metamorphosis and changed from a heavily impoverished slum into a lively residential area, related to the centre of the city. The new planning for Katendrecht struggled with complications. Firstly, the high level of ambition and secondly the issue of dealing with the residents’ anxiety of losing the dear neighbourhood feel. The masterplan was therefore developed in close collaboration with the residents and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The buildings adjacent to the harbour and the river side are massive and robust in character and refer to harbour architecture. The buildings in the central area are smaller-scale and informal in nature. Their back-to-back typology can still be found in many areas in Rotterdam. Thus a structure of narrow streets is formed that defines a common semi-public space where the neighbourhood feeling flourishes and the children can play safely. Along the quay, a green park has been developed where one can enjoy a fantastic view over the river. The center of Rotterdam was suddenly very close.
1998 – 2001 Urban design and all architectural stages