Rotterdam almost certainly has the highest concentration of cutting-edge architects in the world–including MVRDV, West 8, Neutelings Riedijk, and, of course, Rem Koolhaas’s OMA. So it’s no surprise that the competition to design its new city hall was fierce–and Rem Koolhaas, the emperor of the local design scene, has won.
The building is slated to be the greenest building in the Netherlands. OMA’s proposal, though it looks pretty cool, won out thanks to a certain blunt functionality.
Because the huge structure will be made of modular units, the building will be easier and less resource-intensive to build, and it’s actual shape can mutate over time. As more space is needed, modules can be added. Fitting into the surrounding site–and also creating street-level public spaces–is just a matter of hollowing out the cube structure, in clever places.
However winning, the Rotterdam design underscores OMA’s obsession with big buildings that look like a jumble of pixels or a pile of building blocks (depending on your viewpoint). For example: Their new apartment tower in New York, and another in Singapore.