In 2016, Rotterdam celebrated 75 years from the reconstruction of the city, after the war. With a series of exciting events spread throughout a few months in ’15-‘16, the unique character of this place becomes a focal point for exhibitions, art festivals and cultural events.
Rotterdam has transformed in a truly astonishing way since the 1940 bombing that wiped out 24,000 homes, 2,400 shops and other 4,000 buildings in one day. Turning such a drawback into an opportunity seems unconceivable, but this is exactly what this very dynamic city did! Instead of rebuilding the old structures on the original street grid, the vision shifted towards creating something new and at the same time, it addressed existing planning issues. This is how the blueprint for a new Rotterdam emerged. The new plan separated functional areas from housing - shopping, administrative and business facilities in the new centre and living spaces extending around it, towards the outskirts.
The reconstruction took about 30 years. The Doelen (first cultural building after the war) was finished in 1966 and it is considered the final touch in the reconstruction of Rotterdam. This phase was important for the city and its population, not only architecture wise, but also economically and socially. This period shed a more positive light on the destruction that had taken place previously and people embraced it, as a time of optimism, innovation and bold transformations.
“While other cities take the past as an anchor point to form their identity, Rotterdam does the opposite; the future is its character” Douglas Coupland (Generation X)
Since then, Rotterdam keeps innovating and creating daring projects that often serve as prototypes for the international architectural and urban planning community. The second largest city in the Netherlands is widely recognized for its modern architecture and courage to experiment with unique structures like De Rotterdam, Central Station or the Markethall.
Home to a whooping 620.000 people, with 174 different nationalities, Rotterdam is the epitome of diversity, thriving with a multitude of cultural and sports events throughout the year, a vibrant art scene and a youthful vibe. The new campaign and slogan - "Make it happen!", sum up the mentality that moved Rotterdam forward. This city is energetic and ever-changing, bold and innovative, just like its people.
"This city has guts. The people in this city have guts. We are go-getters."
Stefan Prins, architect
For almost 60 years, IHS is proud to be part of Rotterdam's history. Having started in 1948, in the Bouwcentrum, IHS joined Erasmus University in the Woudestein campus, where it is currently located.