Rotterdam, Netherlands

MARCH 09, 2009 – MARCH 15, 2009

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and has the sixth largest metropolitan area in Europe (behind only Moscow, London, the Ruhr Area, Istanbul, and Paris). The city is perhaps better known, however, for its busy port along the banks of the Nieuwe Maas. It was the world’s busiest shipping port from 1962 to 2004 when it was surpassed by Shanghai, although it still remains the largest in Europe. During its early beginning, the area of Rotterdam was known as “Rotte” or “Rotta”; “rot” meaning “muddy” and “a” referring to “water”. Around the late 12th century, terrible floods impeded development and a dam was constructed along the Rotte River during the 1260s, ultimately leading to the naming of the city “Rotterdam” … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]

Schouwburgplein

Rotterdam, Netherlands

schouwburgplein 2

Schouwburgplein, or “Theater Square”, is ideally situated at the heart of Rotterdam amongst theaters, transportation, and a pedestrian shopping center. Despite its central location, however, the square was once a dead urban space, infrequently used, and spatially uninviting. The automobile seemed to dominate the space and they most always outnumbered pedestrians. However, with the planned construction of a large cinema came a renewed pubic interest in the space itself and what it could/should stand for at the center of Rotterdam. In particular, people were interested in how to inject more culture to the area and create more of a public destination in a place that was once avoided. The space seen today is a result of the plan developed by the Dutch landscape and urbanism firm West 8, opening to the public in 1996 … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]