The Red Apple Rotterdam [NL]

The Red Apple is a mixed-use development which rises 124 metres skyward at the head of Rotterdam’s Wijnhaven Island, located between the city centre and the river Maas. The Red Apple is a highly varied architectural mass with 231 apartments, offices, retail and restaurants on a total gross floor area of 35.000 m2. 

The Wijnhaven Island occupies a strategic spot within the city. It is being redeveloped using a dynamic transformation model designed by KCAP, which provides development guidelines that ensure a balance between new and existing construction as well as the preservation of fine views and sufficient incidence of daylight throughout the area. By applying this model, its redevelopment substantially increases the area’s capacity and improves the residential and environmental quality while preserving important qualities of the existing situation.

The Red Apple complex is situated on a visually prominent location: at the tip of the Wijnhaven Island, with water on three sides and views across the river and the ‘Old Harbour’. The converging lines of Wijnhaven Island meet at The Red Apple, outlining a five-sided volume, part of which cantilevers beyond the substructure. In this block building, apartments of various sizes are grouped around a central atrium. Thanks to large apertures in the facade, this atrium also offers a stunning vista across the city.

The southwest corner of the site is occupied by a slender apartment tower with a spacious glazed lobby as ground-floor entrance and live/work loft spaces on top. The levels 8 through to 40 contain apartments of various sizes. All apartments of the two volumes are diagonally oriented and offer a maximum of transparency via floor-to-ceiling glass and provide extraordinary views.

The Red Apple is accentuated in Rotterdam’s skyline by its ‘red striped’ façade pattern. The tower reveals the red bands as vertical lines which decrease in width towards the top to support its slender appearance. The block building is defined by horizontal layers. The red bands are formed by aluminium panels which gain their colour through anodizing without any other colour treatment. In the tower, they contain the load bearing structure of the façade and adapt in width to the increasing load towards street level.

The lifestyle concept and interior have been developed in cooperation with designer Jan des Bouvrie. With a great diversity of residences in intimate urban surroundings, The Red Apple satisfies the demands of modern lifestyles.


Client Havensteder (formerly PWS) Rotterdam
Program 35.000 m2 of which 231 apartments, 1.500 m2 retail and restaurants, 3.800 m2  offices, 340 parking places
Time 2002 - 2009
Role Architect
Participating parties Jan des Bouvrie (life style concept)