Look up more often! Esther Wienese tips 5 unique Rotterdam rooftops
23 April 2019 by Esther Wienese
Our guest blogger Esther Wienese is the author of the book Rotterdam Rooftops, taking resilience to a higher level. With the Rotterdam Rooftop Days festival and Rotterdam Architecture Month in the pipeline, she recommends 5 roofs that are accessible for most of the year where you can enjoy the view, eat good food or just relax for a while.
Nothing makes me happier than beautiful views. That’s why I love Rotterdam so much. Every day I enjoy the panoramic views on offer all around me. If possible, from the roof. And I love to get people to look up and inspire them to do more with their rooftops. That is not only great for visitors, but it also contributes to the enjoyment of residents and is good for the city.
Did you know?
Rotterdam has more flat rooftops than anywhere else in the Netherlands. This is partly a result of the reconstruction after the bombardment of 14 May 1940. Approximately 14.5 million square metres of unused flat rooftops, 1 million of which are in the city centre, longing to be put to use. To prepare the city for the future, these rooftops must be developed for rainwater collection, sustainable energy generation, nature and living, working and recreation.
Most rooftops in the city are not accessible from the street. That is why the annual Rotterdam Rooftop Days festival is so much fun. During the first weekend in June, you can roam the rooftops and experience the city from a completely different perspective. Fortunately, there are a number of rooftops in the city where you can spend a large part of the year enjoying the unique ambience. Here is my top 5.
The Schieblock rooftop at Hofplein was voted ‘The best rooftop in the Netherlands’ in September 2017 and that is deservedly so. It is an oasis in the city and a source of inspiration for a better world. The DakAkker on this roof is the first harvestable rooftop in the Netherlands and with its 1000 square metres, it is also the largest urban agricultural rooftop in Europe. The organic harvest is served in the rooftop restaurant Op Het Dak. Here, surrounded by fresh vegetables and edible flowers, you can enjoy the wonderful view over the roof of the City Hall. Rotterdam at its best.
2. The Suicide Club
The first rooftop bar in Rotterdam opened on the roof of the Groot Handelsgebouw in 2015. The creators were inspired by the exciting, steamy clubs that were around during the prohibition in America. Just getting to the club is an experience in itself: go through the hall of the Groot Handelsgebouw, look for the entrance in the courtyard and then take the old goods elevator up to the roof. The Suicide Club has an elongated rooftop terrace with two outdoor bars and unparalleled views over the roof of Central Station and the city.
3. Bistro Binnenrotte
‘City terrace’ Bistro Binnenrotte is located on the roof of the entrance to the Central Library. From the terrace, you have a wonderful view of the Markthal, Blaak Station, the Cube Houses and the Laurenskerk. The rooftop terrace is accessible via the ground floor of Bistro Binnenrotte and is open when the weather permits. On market days, Tuesdays and Saturdays, you look out over the awnings of the stalls on the Binnenrotte.
4. Luchtpark Hofbogen
With a length of 1.9 kilometres, the roof of the Hofbogen is the longest roof in the Netherlands. The rooftop of former railway station Hofplein has become a popular event site in recent years. It is the setting for silent rooftop cinema Roffa Mon Amour, RYPP Wine Festival, Motel Mozaique, the Rotterdam Opera Days, the Rotterdam Rooftop Days and youth performances from the Hofplein Theatre. You can visit the Luchtpark (Air Park) daily from 10:00 until sunset. You can lie in the grass, sit on one of the fifty artificial sheep, lounge and play on the play-dyke, and walk through the wild garden and fruit orchard.
The Dakpark is located right next to the Marconiplein metro station. It is the largest rooftop park in Europe. It’s almost a kilometre long and situated at a height of nine metres. It is laid out on top of an old marshalling yard that was converted into the BigShops shopping boulevard. The Dakpark is a neighbourhood park and is a great spot to picnic and to enjoy the view and the many rabbits.
Rotterdam Rooftop Tour
If you are curious about the rooftops mentioned above, then join the Rotterdam Rooftop Tour: an interesting exploration along and on innovative and unique rooftops in the centre of Rotterdam. Esther designed this tour especially for Inside Rotterdam.
Taking resilience to a higher level
In this TEDx Tallk Esther explains what you can do with your roof.