De Witte Keizer Rotterdam [NL]

The 'Witte Keizer' (White Emperor) 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 developments. The office spaces and public functions are prominently positioned to function as a catalyst for its surroundings.

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 emphasise 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.
The variations in height found in the surroundings are incorporated in the organisation of the building.

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.

Client BPF Bouwinvest, Amsterdam
Program 22.200 m2 of which 107 apartments, 3.500 m2 commercial facilities and 132 parking places
Time 2001 - 2005
Role Architect