1991-1996, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Nowhere else in the world is there a square so relevant to its context. Shouwburgplein, or “Theater Square,” is situated in the heart of Rotterdam, minutes from the Europe’s largest port, and surrounded by the City Theater, the music hall, Rotterdam’s largest movie theater complex.
This contemporary urban square design, with custom furniture, iconic crane-like lights that park users can operate, and a trademarked hardscape pattern, is a reflection of the Port of Rotterdam. Capped by a light-deck square that replaced an outdated and leaking parking roof structure, the design includes a light structure using durable materials that have remarkably withstood the test of time and heavy usage.
By raising the surface of the square above the surrounding area, the “city’s stage” was created for festivals and installations, framed by the city skyline and its “audience” of inhabitants. This interactive public space, flexible in use, changes throughout the day and from season to season.