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Modern Architecture in Rotterdam

By Paulina Sánchez |

Rotterdam, the City of Modern Architecture is a popular destination among travelers who like innovating urban proposals.


On May 14th 1940 the city of Rotterdam changed forever. It was the Second World War and the German army bombed the city destroying its Historic Downtown and causing great damage in other areas. After the war, the reconstruction began, but this time the city was rebuilt with a modern and innovating proposal. This is how the City of Modern Architecture was born.

Follow this route by DINKtravelers and visit some of its most emblematic structures.


If you’re staying in Amsterdam, the train to Rotterdam will take you directly to your first stop: Central Station. This national and international public transportation center was remodeled in 2004 giving way to a magnificent construction that perfectly melds with the city’s modern environment. Besides, it supports the global initiative of creating sustainable buildings because it uses solar light as its energy source. Its façade is made of crystal and stainless steel that extends the structure 50 meters outwards in the direction of Weena Boulavard, the street that will guide you to your next stop.


Crossing the street in front of the station you’ll find a complex of colorful buildings with irregular façades. You’ll enjoy taking pictures of these structures that seem to be perpetually moving. At the same time, their height will be the first example you get of why they say that Rotterdam is the Manhattan on the Meuse.

Continue your route on foot or return to Central Station and take the subway to Blaak Station to see the…


These 32 yellow houses that were built between 1982 and 1984 and that are shaped like hexagons supported by 22-meter tall pillars are located in front of the fresh produce market, the Markthaal. Their architect, Piet Blom, wanted to emulate an urban forest and that’s why this complex is known as Blaak Forest (Blaakse Bos).

As soon as you see the houses you’ll want to move in there because their tilted windows and angled walls will make you think about all the fun possibilities with which you could plan their interior design. Luckily, one of them is maintained as a museum and you can visit it for 2.50 euros, so it will give you an idea of how you could furnish it. What’s more, if you want to spend the night in one of them, the good news is that some of these houses offer lodging services.


Near the Cube Houses or Kubuswoning you’ll find this cascade-shaped building created by Jakob Bered. Its design is ideal for readers because its crystal walls let the light in, although it’s perfectly controlled to prevent any damage to the books. This is the ideal place to look for unique books because there are specialists in each topic who can help you find them. Also, it’s the perfect spot to update your social networks with pictures of your visit to Rotterdam because certain zones in the library have free Wi-Fi connection.


This stranded structure was inaugurated in 1996 by Queen Beatrice. The Erasmusbrug or Erasmus Bridge, with its 800 meters in length, is one of the two bridges that cross the Meuse River (Nieuwe Maas) connecting the northern and southern (Kop van Zuid) parts of Rotterdam. It’s so famous that it was even used as a departure point during the Tour de France in 2010.

As soon as you see it you’ll notice why it was nicknamed “The Swan”, because it’s exactly the figure that will come to your mind when standing in front of its asymmetric 139-meter tall structure.

Finally, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the chance to see how fast it lifts and lowers in a matter of two minutes to allow ships to cross underneath.

There are several other magnificent examples of modern architecture in Rotterdam, so wait for new routes in our upcoming articles.