W.N. ROSE, J.A. SCHOLTEN HZN., J.D. ZOCHER JR., 1854 e.v.-1854 e.v., Westersingel, Spoorsingel, Noordsingel, Crooswijksesingel, Boezemsingel, Rotterdam
Waterproject / Water Project ( W.N. Rose, J.A. Scholten Hzn., J.D. Zocher jr. )
© 2007 Rook & Nagelkerke

Willem Rose

Johan David Zocher jr.

Jan Arent Scholten Hzn.

Gerrit Jan de Jongh
dS+V (Dienst Stedebouw en Volkshuisvesting)
Maarten Struijs

Landscape architecture


Town Architect Willem Rose had made Rotterdam's water management the focus of his attention since 1840. In 1841 he designed together with works surveyor Jan Arent Scholten an initial version of his Water Project, followed in 1854 by the final version after a fresh outbreak of cholera. This was to be a network of singels, gently winding watercourses accompanied by a tree-lined avenue, as much a hygienic solution for flushing the town waters as a framework for urban expansion in the future. Designed in landscape style by the family firm of Zocher, these singels - Westersingel, Spoorsingel, Noordsingel, Crooswijksesingel and Boezemsingel - were the city's first public green facilities. To these Director of Public Works G.J. de Jongh would later add Provenierssingel and Bergsingel. Heemraadssingel is of a similar format. The mansions lining the singels were built between 1870 and 1900. In 2000 Westersingel was renovated and part of it hard-surfaced as a sculpture terrace bringing together a number of pieces initially scattered across the city: Umberto Mastroianni's Farewell (Het Afscheid, 1955) from Central Station, Fritz Wotruba's Reclining Figure (1969) and Henri Laurens' La Grande Musicienne (1938/1963). They were joined more recently by a sculpture apiece by Joel Shapiro and Carel Visser. Rodin's L'Homme qui Marche (1907/1958) had been making its way through the city since the Floriade horticultural festival of 1960 by way of sites in The Park, Joost Banckertsplaats, Schouwburgplein and Westblaak. During the Sculpture in the City event of 1988, the 'cultural axis' from Central Station to Veerhaven harbour basin did duty as a sculpture route. All that remains of this is a concrete piece by Richard Artschwager and The Long, Thin, Yellow Legs of Architecture, courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au at the corner of Vasteland. At nearby Eendrachtsplein stands 't Oude Tramhuys (the old tram house), the most mobile structure in Rotterdam. Now used as a café, this wrought-iron hut began life in 1914 at the pre-war Beursplein, returning to the city centre via Weena and Ommoordseweg thanks to C70, the 'communication festival' held in Rotterdam in 1970. It was from the Weena that the celebrated 'reconstruction rides' through the city embarked in the 1950s.