Where river and city, nature and men meet – clotted in steel and wood

Water Wood is situated at the Brienenoord Island with it’s mesmerizing views on both the city skyline and the iconic Brienenoord bridge, where ships pass by daily and nature flourishes. This point offers a unique place to experience the relationship between the river and city, between people and nature.

In 2018, Van Oord, an international, family-owned dredging company based in Rotterdam, celebrated its 150th birthday. This significant milestone provided an excellent occasion to reflect on Van Oord’s long and rich history of ingenuity in marine engineering, and an even better occasion to look into it’s future role. For this reason Van Oord organised an international event and launched a book in 2018.

But Van Oord didn’t not just want to look back and talk about the future, Van Oord really wanted to create something, contribute to the future and shape the world we live in for future generations, be it a first, small step – but guided by values like sustainability, biodiversity, innovation. Van Oord set itself the goal to start right in its home town Rotterdam, along the edge of the Maas River – where it al started.
On the southwestern tip of the island ‘Water Woods’ is realized, a forest of steel pipes that form a viewpoint over the Maas River. A poetic, mysterious structure, referring to both the harbour and the client’s activities, but also to the wooded Van Brienenoord island.
The structure functions as a double out-look. On one side you can climb up to watch the vessels that pass by really close and enjoy the panoramic view on a rapidly changing south bank of the Maas.
On the other side you descend into the wonderous world of specific water flora and fauna.

Name of the project: Water woods
Project category: Public Project
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: NEXT architects, Buro Rietveld, Ecoresult, City of Rotterdam
Project location: The Netherlands, Rotterdam, Island van Brienenoord
Design year: 2018-2019
Year Built: 2019


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