Timmerhuis Rotterdam

Timmerhuis Rotterdam

The Timmerhuis (formerly Stadstimmerhuis) is a building complex in the Stadsdriehoek district in the centre of Rotterdam. Basically, the building is a combination of reconstruction architecture by municipal architect J.R.A. Koops and contemporary architecture from the architectural firm OMA. If you are figuring out what to do in Rotterdam, this is a great place to visit. Moreoever, the interesting combination of architecture makes it one of the highlights of Rotterdam.


History of the Timmerhuis in Rotterdam

A stadstimmerhuis (city carpenter’s house) is the office of the municipal service that deals with building, named after the profession of city carpenter. In the Second World War, the earlier city carpenter’s house in Rotterdam on the Haringvliet was destroyed. Then, from the early 40s to 1953, the Stadstimmerhuis was located as an emergency building at the cattle market. Between the Warande and the Goudse Rijweg, on the Boezemweg.

In 1947, municipal architect J.R.A. Koops designed the new Stadstimmerhuis. The new Stadstimmerhuis, was originally conceived as an elongated building on the Haagseveer with four wings perpendicular to it. However, In the end only one of the four wings was realized: the one on the Meent. In this way, an L-shaped office building was created on the Meent and the Haagseveer. Moreover, Its construction took place between 1950 and 1953. This makes it is one of the first larger buildings to be erected in the empty centre of Rotterdam after the bombing. The building was completed in 1953 and housed the municipal works and four technical departments. The reconstruction of Rotterdam would be led from this location.


Expansion of the Timmerhuis in Rotterdam

In the 1970s, Ronald Gill designed an extension to the stadstimmerhuis. However, this was already demolished in 2011. Moreover, in 2009 five architectural firms (Claus and Kaan, Mecanoo, Meyer and Van Schooten, OMA and SeARCH) participated in multiple architectural assignments for a new wing. A professional jury selected the design of OMA. They described the design as ‘a shapeless pile of pixels’ and ‘a building like a cloud’. It is a set of white glass cubes, a far-reaching steel structure on two steel legs.

The new complex opened on December 11, 2015. It contains offices, 91 apartments, an underground parking garage and houses Museum Rotterdam. The extension comprises two towers, consisting of stair-like reclining living floors with roof terraces. On the ground floor, there is an atrium between the towers with a publicly accessible pedestrian passage that connects the Haagseveer with the Rodezand.

Door Ossip van duivenbode
Door Ossip van duivenbode

Architecture of the Timmerhuis in Rotterdam

Koops Stadstimmerhuis is a sleek and rhythmic building made of concrete with brick and natural stone details. It has gabled roofs and chimneys, giving it a traditionalistic appearance. But it considered progressive as well, due to the concrete skeleton, the flexible ventilation system and the self-service lifts. At the Meent there is a ‘living plinth’ with steel and glass shop fronts. The end façades have reliefs in granite. Next to it there is also a bronze plaque in honour of Cornelis van Traa, the city architect of the reconstruction between 1940 and 1964. In 2000, the building became a municipal monument.


Interested in more information about the highlights of Rotterdam? Check out our Highlight Walking Tour or Highlight Bike Tour!