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IABR 2016 Projectatelier Rotterdam: The Productive City






IABR & municipality of Rotterdam


Research by design on the manufacturing economy of Rotterdam


Marco Broekman, Alexandra Kern, Anna Sosin, Jeroen Castricum, Floris van der Zee, Chloé Charreton


De Zwarte Hond, L’AUC


Finished, resulted in exhibition IABR 2016 The Next Economy (spring 2016) and publication (autumn 2016)


Photo of exhibition (top) by Hans Tak

Photo of model (bottom) Ivo Haarman

The IABR–Project Atelier Rotterdam 2016 is a design research on the making economy of Metropolitan region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH). It investigates the most promising components of the making economy. The Project Atelier, including De Zwarte Hond (atelier master Daan Zandbelt), the French office L’AUC and BURA (formerly known as marco.broekman), shows its most important research results on the IABR 2016 exhibition The Next Economy. The MRDH region contains a number of large economic making sectors, such as food, energy, high tech systems and materials, health, chemistry and maritime industries, which on one hand are highly competitive, but are also functioning as islands in the region. The research shows the possibilities of a more connected region which is more inclusive, circular and adds more value locally. BURA (formerly known as marco.broekman) focusses on two themes within the research: repositioning working districts and circular landscapes.


Repositioning working districts

The industrial areas of the MRDH are often considered mono-functional, while activities on those sites are actually quite diverse and a significant part of production and innovation is taking place here.. The making economy can provide a new perspective for these 20th century working districts and offer incentives to make them future proof. Diversification, better connections with other areas in the region and stronger relations with their immediate surroundings can reposition these working districts as important innovation and production centers of the regional making economy. By tuning and diversifying these industrial districts on a regional level, they could complement each other rather than compete. A focus on the edges of Delft, Schiedam and Rotterdam shows the constellation of a sequence of complementary working districts right in the heart of the MRDH region. In order to stress the potential of this area for the making industry in this region, this strip is reframed as Betapark. It incorporates a northern cluster (TU Delft, Technopolis, Delftech and Schieoevers), a southern cluster (Noord-West, Spaanse Polder and 's-Graveland) and in-between the valuable Midden-Delfland landscape, along the shores of the Schie. This reorientation is supported by adding programmes within these areas and providing new interrelations both within Betapark, as with neighboring areas.


Circular landscapes

The next economy is a circular economy. In this economy local landscapes become even more valuable as renewable sources for materials, products and energy. The concept of Circular Landscapes connects standalone landscapes, becoming a larger scale circular system in which waste and energy loops are closed. The proximity of complementary landscapes offers a unique opportunity for the MRDH region to short circuit and close production and consumption loops. The North Sea, the Port of Rotterdam and the Westland as well as rural areas such as Midden-Delfland and the polders southeast of Rotterdam, have the potential to become  a circular landscape, connecting local, national and international flows from the perspective of a circular system. A transformation from the current petrochemical industry in the port to bio-based activities would offer the possibility to envision the Botlek area as a key link in this system. At the crossing point of the currently disconnected landscapes, we propose a public accessible park. This Botlek Bio-based Park acts as a green corridor right in the middle of the port linking the rural areas north and south of the port, while simultaneous it provides space for recycle and biochemistry activities supporting a circular economy. With improved connections to the north and east the area is better linked to other Biobased and Recycling ‘hotspots’ like Westland,TU Delft, DSM Biotech Campus, RDM, M4H and Waalhaven.


Working districts graph 



Concept circular landscape

Concept repositioning working districts

Circular landscape

Circular landscape model

Repositioning working districts BetaPark

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