OMA's massive De Rotterdam complex, an interconnected "vertical city"and the largest building in the Netherlands, topped out last week. To mark the event, OMA Rotterdam office posted a time-lapse on their Facebook wall that condenses three years of construction in under two minutes. Partners-in-charge Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon were on the site to celebrate what is a major milestone for the project, which began in 1997 and is finally slated for completion in 2013.
Looming on the harbor, the near monolithic De Rotterdam urban complex is intended to be a city within a city, consisting of a cluster of skyscrapers peaking at 150 meters whose edges overlap and rest on each other. The towers are broken down into "irregular" cubic volumes--almost schematic in their lack of exterior articulation--which are each programmed with different functions. The whole structure sits on a broad plinth with shops and restaurants, as well as the lobbies for hotel, apartments, and offices on the ground floor.
The project was the subject of a video clip from Tomas Koolhaas' bio-documentary about his father, which we featured in September. The snippet, which you can see here along with an interview with the filmmaker, spotlights the construction workers who have brought the design to life, and the bonds they formed with each other over the last 3 years.