Rotterdam's harbor will host a floating timber office building

Working on Water

Rotterdam's harbor will host a floating timber office building

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) will soon have a new home in Rotterdam that reflects its dedication to managing climate change. Powerhouse Company, also based in Rotterdam, has revealed its design for Floating Office Rotterdam (FOR), a fully self-sufficient and energy-neutral timber structure that will float on the port of Rijnhaven.

Powerhouse Company has integrated several advanced sustainability measures in the design of FOR. The waters of the Rijnhaven will provide an ample source for heat exchange below, and an open gable roof will be split between solar panels and greenery. Overhanging floors throughout the building will shade lower offices from the sun while still allowing for large windows and plenty of daylight. In addition to the offices, FOR will house a restaurant with a large terrace and a “floating pool” within the Maas River.

The GCA was launched in the fall of 2018 by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The commission is rooted in the development of measures to manage the inevitable effects of climate change through technology, planning, and investment. Ban’s co-leaders of the GCA include Bill Gates and managing director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva. To GCA staff, the new building is a fitting representation of their work in exploring a sustainable future: “As the world’s climate changes, extreme weather events and rising sea levels present new challenges for architects. Embedding resilient features into a design before disaster strikes not only makes economic sense but it can also help us to mitigate against climate change,” said Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Commission, in a press statement.

Construction of the FOR will begin at an offsite location in Rotterdam in spring 2020 before the finished structure is moved to the Rijnhaven.