Rotterdam gets 140m high Tree House as part of new development

7 January 2020

London-based firm PLP Architecture, working with Dutch developer Provast, has won a major international competition for a new multi-use, mixed construction tower on a key redevelopment site in Rotterdam.

The part-timber building, part of the Delftseplein regeneration project, has been dubbed “Tree House” and aims to create a sustainable and lively environment for residents and visitors alike in the city centre and be a bold new addition to the local skyline.

Totalling 140m and 37 storeys tall, the building is to be located adjacent to Rotterdam’s Central Station and will instantly become the tallest hybrid structure in the country.

Tree House is inspired by the ecosystem of a tree. The building functions as CO2 storage and features a part-timber structure with a concrete core, with significant reused and recycled materials, rainwater collection and reuse.

The abundance of greenery in and around the tower contributes to biodiversity and reduces heat stress. Tree House also captures part of the rainwater from the Central Station hall that flows from the roof when there's heavy rain.

The Tree House’s glazed exterior feature external timber-clad balconies which will be planted with a diverse selection of greenery to add to the natural and sustainable aspect of the project.

The upper levels will house 275 apartments totalling 26,000m2, with 185 units set aside for private rentals and 30% reserved for the mid-market sector.

Below this, 15,000m2 of office space will be geared towards innovation and technology companies and include co-working areas.

A seventh-floor restaurant will face a planted terrace, while at the ground floor, shops, cafes and a multi-function events space help to draw the public in and provide a mix of amenities for the city’s use. 

“We enjoy designing buildings that push boundaries, and this is an innovative, sustainable, mixed-use tower, with a hybrid timber structure, almost on top of Rotterdam's Central Station - a new typology for future cities,” said PLP Architecture partner Ron Bakker.

“Tree House is a welcome addition to the area,” said Rotterdam alderman Bas Kurvers.

“With this Provast design, the Rotterdam Central District is given liveliness and warmth. Thanks to the use of wood and the varied façade image, there is a nice contrast with the other buildings in the area. The mix of functions and facilities makes Delftseplein an attractive place for all residents of Rotterdam and visitors. For future residents and entrepreneurs, this location is, next to Central Station, the most central place in the city to live or work.”

The project was selected from a group of three international team submissions. Construction is expected to begin in 2021, with completion in 2024.

The Tree House design