A new perspective on Rotterdam West with ZigZagCity

The architecture festival ZigZagCity is held from 9 to 24 June 2018. It focuses on a different part of the city every year, and this time it’s Rotterdam West: Oude Westen and Middelland to be precise. Here are a few highlights of the festival:

Routes through the city. All kinds of guided tours are organised during the first and last weekend of ZigZagCity. This is the best way to really get to know a neighbourhood and to meet local residents and entrepreneurs. Here’s a list of guided tours for you:

  1. Historic tours of Rotterdam

The tours ‘50 years of Oude Westen’ and ‘Travelling through time in Middelland’ are tours that will tell you more about the history of Rotterdam. Or take a look behind the scenes during ZigZag Oude Westen, ZigZag Middelland and Wes Goes West. These three tours offer you a mixture of architecture, spoken word, entrepreneurship and food culture.

  1. Art tours

Would you like to know more about street art in these neighbourhoods? Tour guides Lennard de Vlieger and Piet Hein will tell you stories about the paintings and sculptures in and around West-Kruiskade if you go on the ‘Street Art West’ tour. There is also a special tour organised by the Poetry International Foundation, during which you will discover that architecture and poetry sometimes go hand in hand.

TIP: If these weekends don’t suit you or if you prefer to do the walk individually, you can do so from Thursdays to Sundays using the ZigZagRoute. What to expect? A great deal!

  1. Two Middelland Factories

Textile used to be produced right at the heart of the city in Rotterdam Middelland. Two factories still exist. One factory is now full of new businesses, a supermarket and the Wijkpaleis. The other factory is being transformed into 25 loft apartments designed by Mei Architects. Joshua Ties created a sonic artwork. He was inspired by the history of the now empty building. Experience his work of art by putting your ear against the window and listen to the sounds.

  1. A special home

Two architects, Nina Aalbers and Ferry in ‘t Veld, discovered a building plot in Rotterdam. This is where they built their very special home based on the principles of circularity and sustainability. You can visit their house on the ZigZagRoute. These architects also built an installation on the ground floor, which you can admire through the window.

  1. Watching the world go by – The Streetviewers

If you walk from Kruisplein all the way to Marconiplein, you will see the historic part of Rotterdam. The eight Streetviewers (also known as Street Look-Outs) along this route are designed by visual artist Lieven Poutsma (Observatorium) and architect Bart Lentz (G R I D T). These are wooden structures from which you can watch the world go by. Streetviewers is a series of clearly recognisable works of art connecting various locations and streets. They are placed on Kruisplein, Tiendplein, Middellandplein and Aleidisstraat in Rotterdam.

Taking a break?

A new pavilion in a park in Rotterdam West, which was designed by fifteen international students from TUDelft, is a great place to take a break from walking the ZigZagCity Route. This pavilion is also ideal for meeting up and sharing stories. This public place in the middle of Wijkpark Oude Westen consists of two parts: a home and a skyscraper. The skyline of Rotterdam served as the source of inspiration for this pavilion – with skyscrapers appearing above pointed rooftops.

This pavilion is open from Thursdays to Sundays from 11:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Photo: Frank Hanswijk