Casanova+Hernandez architects


Casanova + Hernandez Architects as Architects

Cool Tower is located in the Cool neighbourhood of the city centre of Rotterdam. This area was totally rebuilt in the 60's after the massive bombardments suffered by the city in the Second World War becoming an icon of the urban planning and architecture of the modern movement.

A high tower placed in this location should be a building that dialogues with the near urban context on one hand, but on the other hand it should also become an icon linked with the rich modern architectural tradition of the city of Rotterdam.

The project is inspired by the spirit of modernity and innovation, essence of the city: by the experimental villas of the 30's characterized by long continuous windows and white façades combined with abundant open spaces such as the Sonneveld house built by Brinkman and Van der Vlucht or the Chabot museum, both of them located near the tower site and by higher buildings designed in the 50's by architects such as Maaskant or Van der Broek and Bakema where the transparent long windows and the sculptural long balconies were overlapped creating vibrating façades.

THE PLINTH AND THE URBAN CONTEXT A multifunctional plinth, that contains residential facilities, an automatic parking garage, office spaces and a sport center, is designed to create urban continuity with the near urban context.

TOWER CONCEPT A compact circulation core is surrounded by a flexible continuous living space opened towards the exterior with panoramic views. The long and flying cantilevered balconies along the apartments create a feeling of horizontality and lightness in the exterior image of the building. The curved corners and diagonal lines give to the building its expressive and sculptural aspect. Three main floor types are combined in the tower to provide variety of apartment types creating a fragmented exterior image related with its housing function, thus avoiding a monumental image.

THE CROWN The top levels have been carefully designed to give an appropriated end to the tower creating the classical distinction between base, shaft and capital. The tower seeks to be an articulated urban element that works appropriately on different scales: from the human scale on street level till the exterior image towards the city.


Variety of housing types: Four main housing types (loft, corner apartment, panorama apartment, living & working) and two special types with large roof terraces at the top (penthouse-terrace and duplex) differ in size, orientation, morphology and spatial fragmentation to promote living space for different target groups.

High quality apartments: A compact service core on the darker side of the apartment allows a perimetral continuous living area with good natural ventilation, excellent natural lighting and panoramic views. The typical plan of the tower avoids apartments north orientated to guarantee direct sunlight in every living room. Each apartment has a long balcony connected with the interior spaces by large glazed doors.

Flexible interior space: The basic facilities are contained in the service core which layout is fixed in each type. The rest of the interior partitions can be configured in very different ways, varying from spacious lofts to very fragmented apartments with 5 rooms.

SUSTAINABILITY Cool Tower has been designed following sustainable criteria to cooperate with the program 'Rotterdam Climate Initiative' which aims to reduce 50% co2 emissions for 2025. The design follows strategies such as compact building with minimum façade surfaces; optimal apartments sun orientation; balconies used as sun light protection; using 'green energy heating system' of the city and collective roof garden on top of the parking.

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