UrbansubPort Waalhaven
: transformatie van stadshaven naar havenstad

  • W.M.A. van Merode

Student thesis: Master


Region Rotterdam The relationship between the city of Rotterdam and its port has gradually changed over the last centuries. In the 16th century Rotterdam was a harbourcity where both city and port intertwined along the water, but both grew apart under the influence of different scale jumps. Rotterdam is now for the next jump. The question is in which direction should both entities develop. Should both be disconnected permanently or be oriented at each other again. This issue is elaborated in three regional development strategies; separated economy, a mono economy or a mixed economy. The third strategy is the most favourable in the competition of Rotterdam as a modern world port city and in the management of future water problems. This is based on a hybrid system where port, city, water and green form a heterogeneous patchwork. This strategy combines the best of both worlds, a sustainable modern port combined with a variety of urban developments that are new to Rotterdam and the river and green as a catalyst for this linking. Both landscapes and economies reinforce each other in their function. This strategy forms the basis for the rest of the report in formulating tasks, principles and ambitions for the city, port and specifically for the Waalhaven. Waalhaven This old harbour covers an area of ??300ha and is situated between the modern container terminals on the west side, the river Nieuwe Maas in the north, Rotterdam South is located to the east and the south side consists of the ecological zone Alblasserwaard. By shifting the port activities to the Tweede Maasvlakte the Waalhaven will rapidly becoming vacant. This harbour area is an important link in the regional issue of reconnecting city and port. By creating some experiments of different type of 'links' it can give an insight to what extent and rate the Waalhaven can be transformed. It will also examine the effects of these transformations on the identity of the Waalhaven. From a theoretical framework analysis will be done of these spatial interventions and the changing effects they have on a volume and structure and thus the character of an area. These different types of transformations are initiated on the Waalhaven in four scenarios, small Grains, Ensembles, Clusters and new Cores. Variables such as the scale, rate, extent and phasing of transformations are described and illustrated for each scenario. From this, problems and opportunities for each scenario will occur. Then the ambitions and principles are being appointed which results into a spatial plan consisting of a concept and design. Project area UrbansubPort The project area UrbansubPort comprises a part of Waalhaven East and a part of the city district Charlois. Between this, there's a barrier of one kilometre long, consisting of a busy road, an abandoned rail yard and a river dike. The main task of the urban design for this project area is linking the city and port within a gradient of water and green structures. A second and important aspect of design is taking away the physical and visual barriers between these different landscapes and structures. By formulating an integrated plan, where city, port and dike are being transformed, new mixed environments and unique public places are being created alongside and in the water. This plan will be divided into six areas, each have its own rate and extent of transformation and thus have its own identity. The first area is a piece of land between city and port, which will be transformed into a multifunctional dike on which urban and port functions are being situated. The new dike landscape is also a linkage between the large green and water structures of city and port, which surrounds the Waalhaven. The second area consists of the head of the basin enclosed by Sluisjesdijk and Pier 1. Here, small grains will be realized at a small scale. This site has many valuable cultural heritages that will accommodate pioneers who complement the local economy. Port elements and buildings are reused and structures are consolidated thereby preserving the character. The third area consists of the head of the water basin that is enclosed by Pier 1 and 2. This area consists of large-scale port buildings that are outdated and often vacant. These volumes will be erased and the structures are being adjusted. Within these new structures new sustainable ensembles of modern port activities and urban extensions are developed. The fourth area consists of a large water surface between Pier 2, 3 and 4. Here, clusters of several commercially oriented services are developed complemented by luxury residential apartments. Zuiderpark is extended into the Waalhaven and wharves undergo spatial metamorphosis. These clusters will give new thematic experiences in and on the water. The fifth area consists of Pier 4 and the surrounding water. This pier is transformed as a whole and divided into three headlands by excavating or incrementing on the site. This creates a new Blue core in the water with parts that will be subject to the fluctuations of the river. The last area is a part of the city district Charlois. It's located on the western part of Wielewaal. This site will be transformed into a new green core, which forms a transition from park to residential area with lots of green and water features. This will give Wielewaal and the South of Rotterdam a new atmosphere of combined living and working within a green setting. Conclusion Opportunities for a new modern Cityport of Rotterdam are there where the port innovates and the city wants to differentiate. Both will have to do some sacrifices. For example, the port have to give away some of its territory and the city will have to tolerate the port as his close neighbour.
Date of Award31 Jul 2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorC.H. (Kees) Doevendans (Supervisor 1), J.A. Lorzing (Supervisor 2) & J.P.F.A. (Hans) Snijders (Supervisor 2)

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