Three years after construction began, the opening of the new Coolsingel took place today, the 10th of April, 2021.
Together with alderman Arjan van Gils, founder and director of West 8 Adriaan Geuze and Leendert Ripping of contracting company Van Gelder, drove along the new boulevard in a historic tram and removed the last construction fence on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam. Afterwards, the ‘corona-proof’ opening celebrations included a guided tour along the new esplanade including project leader and industrial designer Perry Maas. The month-long celebrations include the COOLsingel Swing and a temporary photo exhibition where Rotterdammers were asked to provide memorable moments on the Coolsingel.
Seven years ago, at the request of the Municipality of Rotterdam, West 8 began to elaborate on the city’s ‘Binnenstad als City Lounge’ program. This policy aimed to not only bring the Coolsingel back to its original allure as a boulevard but to redesign the esplanade more emphatically as a residential area for the inhabitants of Rotterdam.
Today, the reinvigorated public realm designed by West 8 emphasizes the visitor experience. Three lanes of vehicular traffic are situated east of the existing tram line, while a spacious pedestrian esplanade and two-way bicycle path are located on the west side of the street. Quality paving, new furniture, upgraded subway entrances, twenty-three bespoke lanterns, and lush greenery create a legible new identity for the Coolsingel. Capitalizing on the quality of the existing greenery and combining it with additional trees and pocket parks positions the new Coolsingel as an attractive meeting place for all times of the day and in all seasons: It is a revolution on the scale of Rotterdam.
Photography provided by Gemeente Rotterdam and taken by Jan van der Ploeg.
A new allure: the design of the Coolsingel.
the character of the monumental street has been lifted by the warm natural ‘kandla grès’ stone in a circular, mosaic pattern. Despite the complex underground situation of the site, the new Coolsingel makes a major contribution to the sustainability principles of microclimate, water storage and biodiversity. Contemporary engineering has been used in the underground area of the ‘golden’ cycle path, creating both a water buffer and root space for the new rows of trees and greenery. In addition, the asymmetrical layout enables the esplanade to be the host for Rotterdam’s rich variety of city events – from the summer carnival to the annual NN Rotterdam Marathon. The new Coolsingel has become a catalyst for future redevelopments, with major monuments across the esplanade receiving renovations and improvements.
For more information on the project (in Dutch) please see the Coolsingel website.
photography © West 8