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PLP’s part-timber part-concrete proposal wins Dutch tower contest

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PLP Architecture has seen off UN Studio and Group A to win a competition for a 140m-tall office and apartment tower in Rotterdam

The practice’s ‘Tree House’ proposal for the Delftseplein site next to the city’s Central Station features a hybrid structure, with a concrete podium and core supporting a timber frame.

The 37-storey scheme is being billed as the tallest hybrid structure in the Netherlands and will feature significant amounts of reused and recycled materials as well as rainwater collection. The tower will be topped by three greenhouses ‘filled with trees and gardens’.

Modelled on the ‘holistic ecosystem of a tree’, the €160 million (£137 million) project will provide 275 flats – 30 per cent of which will be reserved for the mid-market sector – a seventh-floor restaurant, 15,000m² of office space aimed at tech companies plus separate co-working areas.

PLP Architecture teamed up with Dutch developer Provast on the successful tender bid. Prov will now buy the plot between Delftse Poort and Central Post from the municipality of Rotterdam to Dutch, the contest organiser.

The project team is working with De Dépendance, Rotterdam’s platform for city culture and public debate, to create ’socially relevant programming’ within the skyscraper.

PLP partner Ron Bakker described the scheme as an ‘innovative, sustainable, mixed-use tower with a hybrid timber structure’, which would create a ‘new typology for future cities’.

The AJ100 practice has drawn up designs for high-rise structures made from timber before. In 2016 the company teamed up with Cambridge University to present a concept for a 300m-high ‘plyscraper’ for a site within London’s Barbican (pictured below).

Work on the Delftseplein site, which will be shorter than OMA’s 149m-tall De Rotterdam complex and Dam & Partners Architecten’s 165m Maastoren, is expected to begin in 2021. It is due to complete in 2024.

Plp and cambridge oakwood tower river at night

PLP Architecure and Cambridge University’s concept proposal for a 300m-high/80-storey timber skyscraper rising from London’s Barbican complex.

PLP Architecure and Cambridge University’s concept proposal for a 300m-high/80-storey timber skyscraper rising from London’s Barbican complex.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Why have the first ten storeys been designed to look as if they've been gnawed by giant rats?

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