Rotterdam Central District (RCD) was part of the 5th IABR: Making City as Test Site Rotterdam. At that time, the focus was on the high vacancy rates in this heart of the city. RCD subsequently blossomed into a dynamic area with many activities, but today it faces another challenge: further densification and the mixing of functions in the context of new construction, redevelopment, and transformation.

Big Energy Demands, Little Space
New construction in Rotterdam Central District can hardly be anything other than high-rise. The new towers for living and working will have huge energy demands – for their electricity, heating, and cooling – and these buildings will not be able to meet these, themselves. At the same time, the subsoil in this area is filled with structures and there is not much space left for large-scale networks for the exchange of energy. New developments such as the electrification of transport – particularly buses – and the growing number of shared cars require an infrastructure that cannot but put pressure on the public space.

Collective Strategy
In Rotterdam Central District the IABR–Atelier Rotterdam is working on the development of a collective area energy strategy. Emphatically collective, it addresses the electrification issue and the new demand for heating and cooling in conjunction, beyond the building by building approach. This strategy is aimed at the design of a high-quality, climate-proof public space that also provides space for storage and switching points in the network, an integrated strategy that furthermore tempts developers to go beyond strict energy performance standards and fully commit to a maximum quality living environment.
This collective area energy strategy not only gives concrete shape to the energy transition, but is also used as a lever for coherence and quality, both in the buildings and in the public space.

In Rotterdam Central District the IABR­–Atelier Rotterdam works with a growing number of stakeholders such as the City of Rotterdam, the RCD Foundation and Eneco.