Architecture Beyond Oil Studio, 2016
MSc2 | Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment
In collaboration with Olivia Forty
The brief of the project was to imagine the Rotterdam Port ‘beyond oil’. As an area heavily reliant on fossil fuels, and Europe’s most oil-heavy port, the aim was to envisage a future for the port without its most valuable resource. We decided to make this an urban strategy that would look at the whole port area, but that would still focus on the port’s main functions: goods and energy.
At the same time, we wanted to make the project accessible and engaging, to counteract much of the dense literacture on peak oil and renewable energy.
1. We are designing the transition, so in that sense we accept port as a fluid state.
2. The Port is a centre of goods and energy - we want to maintain and reinforce these as the major functions.
3. Waterways and land transformation are an integral part of designing in the Dutch delta - we will design
with these parameters.
4. The economy needs to be diversified and given a boost so that Rotterdam can compete with the other major Dutch cities. It must transform into a more creative, research-based economy, whilst maintaining employment in the area.
5. As long as we have oil, Rotterdam maintains its place in the top world ports. As oil declines, we must find an equivalent solution which maintains Rotterdam’s unique positıon in Europe - this is likely to be part of the water industry, as water will soon become the new commodity.
6. The city and the port are separate entities in one body, which together form Rotterdam. Therefore, we do not want to create a new Rotterdam: the city cannot function without the harbour, and vice versa.