P.B. DE BRUIJN (DE ARCHITEKTEN CIE.), 1992-1996, Bulgersteyn 7021-7327, Rotterdam
Woongebouw Schielandtoren / Housing Block Schielandtoren ( P.B. de Bruijn (de Architekten Cie.) )
© 2007 Rook & Nagelkerke
Rotterdam is the pre-eminent Dutch city when it comes to high-rise, beginning with Het Witte Huis, the country's first skyscraper. High-rise was made possible by such technological advances as the lift (1854) and the use of steel and reinforced concrete. Of course, taller buildings had been erected before, such as the 64 metre tall tower of the St. Laurenskerk. The record then passed in 1931 to the electricity board building (64 m.), then to the Medical Faculty (114 m.) and the headquarters of Nationale-Nederlanden (151 m.), to the Maastoren, with 165 metres the tallest building in the Netherlands.
Standing opposite the historic Schielandshuis is the 101 metre tall Schielandtoren with its 31 storeys and 109 rented apartments. Originally there were plans to erect an office tower here but it was decided in favour of a residential function to help keep the inner city a vibrant place. It relates in scale and height to the largely glass and metal office towers in the vicinity, yet deviates from them by having brick facades. Its architect, Pi de Bruijn, rather than mix precast concrete elements with brick, opted for traditional brickwork, a medium seldom come across in high-rise.