Urban Podium Rotterdam
Situated between the gothic Sint Laurenskerk and the Delftsevaart canal, the Grotekerkplein was formed only during the course of the modernist reconstruction of the city center, which was almost entirely destroyed during WW2. Despite its central location the square hardly plays a role in the city life, as no shopping streets connect it to the rest the public spaces, and only a few facilities are oriented towards the square itself. Therefore the idea emerged to activate the square programmatically as well as spatially through the construction of a small theater pavilion, in order to fill the displeasing vacuum within the city fabric. The built theater podium interprets the task at hand consistently and maybe a little surprisingly as a mostly urbanistic operation. The existing situation is taken as a starting point and improved through a targeted and powerful gesture. A 40m long structure forcefully separates square and canal in order to enhance their respective spatial legibility.