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Rotterdam Periscope – A Conversation

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Rotterdam Periscope – A Conversation

| architecture, buildings, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings | May 28, 2009

Rotterdam
by Emiliano Gandolfi

Willem Jan Neutelings of Neutelings Riedijk Architects spoke with Emiliano Gandolfi, a correspondent for The Plan magazine, about the Dutch firm’s design approach as exemplified in the Shipping and Transport College in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. — Editor

Emiliano Gandolfi: Part of the gradual revitalization of the port of Rotterdam, the Shipping and Transport College is the ultimate “urban icon,” not at all what one would expect of a school building. How did it come about?

Willem Jan Neutelings: We had to bear in mind the particular character of the College, created 15 years before from the merger of several Dutch maritime training establishments. The new school brought many completely different functions under the same roof: mechanical workshops, virtual simulation labs, restaurants, gyms, offices, and classrooms. The result was a highly intricate program.

The College is also of international standing, so it was essential to develop a strong, recognizable image. Another key aspect was the need to maintain a visual reference with the port, its warehouses, silos and containers.

This led us to propose a tower shape in keeping with a port environment. The form brings together all the requirements of the brief and at the same time gave us a highly distinctive building whose cantilevered auditorium offers splendid views over the sea.   >>>

This article is excerpted from New Forms: Plans and Details for Contemporary Architects by The Plan, copyright © 2009

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After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis, and starting his own design firm, David McFadden saw that there was a gap to be filled in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work, while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed - flexibility and adaption to modern work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early 80’s, the early 90’s, the early 2000’s, and the Great Recession of 2007.

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