Space is always at a premium in major cities, but maybe we could address this issue by building on unused rooftops. To highlight this opportunity, MVRDV has constructed a temporary raised walkway with a series of paths and exhibits high above the streets of Rotterdam.
The Rotterdam Rooftop Walk is an initiative of Rotterdam Rooftop Days and is located around Coolsingelwhich is one of Rotterdam’s most important streets.
Unlike New York City’s famous High Line and MVRDV’s own Seoullo 7017 Skygardenthe project doesn’t make use of existing infrastructure like raised railway tracks, but instead has been constructed using temporary scaffolding and structural supports. It’s finished in bright orange and situated at a height of 30 m (98 ft). Visitors go on a walk of around 600 m (roughly 1,970 ft), taking in the view, and crossing over multiple rooftops and busy streets.
Along the way they can view a series of exhibitions by artists, designers and architects that aim to highlight how rooftops are a wasted potential in our cities and ideas to make use of them. Some examples include green roofs, water storage, food production and energy generation. The route finally culminates on a parking garage, from where a staircase leads visitors back to ground level.
“The temporary installation is an initiative of Rotterdam Rooftop Days, with the concept and design developed together with MVRDV,” explains MVRDV. “As an office, MVRDV has actively worked on solutions for the scarcity of space in the city for years, and hopes to prevent the continued urbanization of rural areas. Rooftop programming can help with major issues such as climate change, the housing crisis, and the transition to renewable energy; the Rooftop Walk draws attention to these problems – making visitors more aware of the possibilities, especially in a city like Rotterdam where 18.5 sq km [roughly 7 sq miles] of flat roofs remains unused.”
The Rotterdam Rooftop Walk is open until June 24. If you’d like to take a stroll on it yourself, those interested can book tickets from the official website.