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Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Netherlands Architecture News - Sep 03, 2020 - 13:39   4661 views

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Powerhouse Company has released the latest images of the world’s largest floating office, named Floating Office Rotterdam, which shows, it has taken a giant step toward its completion.

On Monday, 31 August, the huge floating structure, measuring 90 by 24 meters, arrived at its permanent berth in Rotterdam’s Rijnhaven harbor, having been towed there all the way from Zaandam, over 80 kilometers away.

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Sebastian van Damme

The Floating Office Rotterdam (FOR), designed by architecture office Powerhouse Company and developed by RED Company, is a building for a new era. 

Completely reusable and recyclable, it’s an example of circular design. Off grid and carbon-neutral, it will float if water levels rise due to climate change. 

Video by Marcel Ijzerman

The floating office will reflect the values of its future inhabitants: the Global Center on Adaptation. This Rotterdam based NGO promotes planning, investment and technology to mitigate climate change. 

The climate-resilient office is therefore both an illustration of the center’s mission and an inspiration for others. With its own solar energy source and water-based heat-exchange system, it’s completely self-sufficient.

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Sebastian van Damme

Built entirely of timber, to minimize its carbon footprint, the FOR building has three stories and is accessed via a boardwalk. It will make use of natural energy thanks to 800 square meters of solar panels. It will also use the water from the Rijnhaven for cooling. 

Overhanging balconies around each floor plus a pitched roof will provide shade. FOR will also feature public facilities: a restaurant with a large outdoor terrace and a swimming pool, adding new life to the harbor area.

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Sebastian van Damme

The arriving of the floating foundations completes the first milestone of the project. After its voyage through the Dutch waterways, on entrance to the Rijnhaven harbor from the River Maas, the port authority gave the floating foundations a nautical salute – a fitting welcome for this futuristic, fun and functional example of sustainable architecture. Over the coming months the building will be further constructed and finalised here.

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Sebastian van Damme

"Designing a sustainable, floating office building was a challenging commission, and we approached it holistically," said Nanne de Ru, founder Powerhouse Company.

"The building structure is designed in wood and can easily be demounted and re-used. It’s ready for the circular economy," said Paul Sanders, project architect Powerhouse Company.

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Sebastian van Damme

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Atchain

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Marcel IJzerman

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Marcel IJzerman

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Marcel IJzerman

Powerhouse Company-designed world’s largest floating office hits the water in Rotterdam

Image © Marcel IJzerman

Project facts

Architect: Powerhouse Company

Developer: RED Company

Client: Global Center on Adaptation, Municipality of Rotterdam

Financing: ABN Amro

Project management: DVP

Contractor: FOR Building VOF (consisting of Bouwbedrijf Valleibouw B.V. and Bouwbedrijf Osnabrugge B.V.)

Contractor floating foundations: Hercules FC

Structural engineer: Bartels & Vedder

Wood structure engineer: Solid Timber

MEP installations & sustainability: DWA

Wood structure: Derix Gelamineerde Houtconstructies

Building installations: Roodenburg Groep

Glass: iFS Building Systems

Steel: W. Ten Ham Plaatwerk

Top image © Marcel IJzerman

> via Powerhouse Company