Rotterdam Airport is a local airport with the virtue of being close to the city center. Development around the airport has been stagnant for decades, yet this growth plan clearly differentiates itself from previous plans, and other office hubs. With the iconic city skyline stretching out to the south, and protected countryside to the north, the proposal aims to create a 21st Century business estate which combines metropolitan density with open countryside.
Rotterdam Airport is a local airport which serves mainly business flights between European cities. An important asset of the airport is its vicinity to the centre of Rotterdam, it is only 4 kilometres from the centre, which reminds more of the prime locations that in the 19th century was reserved for the train station than it refers to the international airport many metropolitan area’s have constructed half an hour or even one hour from their centres. Development around the airport was stagnant for decades and its growth plans offer realising a gesture that differentiates this location and the the airport from other office hubs.
Rotterdam bases its identity largely on the port and its skyline. From Rotterdam Airport’s runways the skyline is visible. This reveals the vicinity of the business centre and makes a great branding for the airport. Also from the motorway from the north and the near bypass the skyline is visible as backdrop to the airport. As to the north of the airport starts the protected countryside of Holland, the southern edge of the airport offers the opportunity to make a clear break between city and countryside.
These considerations have lead to the concept in which Rotterdam Airport is turned into a 21st century business estate which combines metropolitan density with wide countryside.
The southern edge of the airport will be enveloped by the program. The height of the new development follows the security rules of the aviation, buildings can be 45 meters tall, the airport tower determines for a part lower buildings to preserve visibility of the entire area. Further cuts in the envelop follow view lines from the motorway and bypass and from the flight platform, offering views towards the skyline and the Rotterdam icons such as the Erasmus bridge and the Euromast. The buildings surrounding the Airport benefit from the vicinity of the terminal building and the view the airport provides, a dynamic and ever changing vista. The envelope can be developed in phases and the terminal building is the only cut in the flowing line of the envelop.
The current terminal building is excellent; between the taxi and the runway are only a few meters, providing maximum efficiency for travellers. This however does not leave much space for commercial services the airport needs. In front of the terminal building a covered plaza is proposed, its roof is a service centre containing all the commercial services the airport needs including business lounges and conference centre. On top a viewing platform for tourists. The zone next to the terminal is the prime location and needs to be developed most densely. An extensive infrastructural plan deals with the extension of the airport both on the land as on the air side. Among others thousands of parking spaces have to be added.