Competitions – Case study No. 4 – Apartments – Laurens Boodt – The Netherlands

Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016: Family Apartments in Rotterdam, NL, 2015–2016
Case study No. 4
The municipality was looking for a new typology and therefore for a vision

The A10 survey into Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016, commissioned by Architectuur Lokaal, has made it clear that the word ‘competition’ does not mean the same thing in every country in Europe. Sometimes a competition refers to a design contest without any intention of realization, sometimes it refers to a full tender procedure, or anything in between. To gain a better insight in the nature of competitions in Europe, A10 correspondents collected 50 case studies from 17 countries. Combined they show the differences in topics, fees, procedures, scale, transparency, and clients.

In order to meet the demands of families, the Municipality of Rotterdam launched the Open Call of Family Apartments.

The municipality was looking for a new typology and therefore for a vision. The procedure of a development contest in two stages was innovative. The municipality invited architects, construction companies, project developers, and (groups of) individuals to come up with ideas and plans for apartments for families. The winner was given the opportunity to realize the plan on a central location in a Rotterdam residential area, with a view on the Meuse skyline and in a mix of high-rise buildings, land-based housing, and urban facilities. The first (anonymous) round participants were asked to submit a concise concept for the new residential typology of the family apartment that would be developed. From the 149 entries, an independent jury selected five. The teams gave their development concept for a new residential typology for family apartments in a complex of six to ten floors, including private parking, which could actually be realized. The selected participants were invited for the second round, in which they elaborated their vision into a business case, with the design for the reserved lot to be announced in the second round. The teams could be expanded in the second round. The participant with the best-rated submission in the second round won exclusive development rights to realize the winning concept. Participation in the contest was only possible with advance registration and by submitting the required documents. The four teams that were not selected each received a compensation of 5,000 EUR (excl. VAT) for the incurred costs. All documents and entries (excluding the budget) are published online by Architectuur Lokaal, organizer of the competition. Information meetings were organized at the start of the first and second rounds.

Laurens Boodt (NL), a young architect who expanded his team in the second round with AM project development (which could guarantee the financial demands) and Ingenieursbureau Boorsma.

In progress, but the apartments are already for sale.

Competition culture in The Netherlands was surveyed by Indira van ‘t Klooster in Amsterdam. This survey is the start of a four-year research project by Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new European architecture Cooperative. Copy editor: Dutton Hauhart. Images: Laurens Boodt