Barcode Architects' striking residential tower The Muse is located on the Wijnhaven in the up-and-coming Maritime District. The program is focused on comfortable inner-city living, with lots of space for social interaction, a lively plinth and features that enhance the living comfort of the residents.
The Muse enriches the Rotterdam skyline with a new, sculptural silhouette. The more introvert anthracite facades form a dark band around the tower. These facades, with smaller openings that provide the apartments with natural light while offering enough privacy towards the adjacent towers, contrast beautifully with the spacious and bright white balconies on the north and south sides of the tower. The balconies are placed in an offset with the floors above and below, allowing for a double height and optimal daylight entry in the apartments.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
VOF WH69 & Wilma Wonen
2014 – 2020
IMD (structural engineer), Mabutec (installations), ABT (acoustics, fire safety, building technology)
Christian van der Kooy, Hans Wilschut, Frank Hanswijk
Dirk Peters, Caro van de Venne, Tim Brans, Hendrik Bloem, Wim Sjerps, Sara Picazo, Boris Kozlowski, Marko Koops, Robbert Peters, Egidijus Kasakaitis, Ilaria Ronchi, Ruggero Pedrini
The design of The Muse emphasizes the connection with the street level through its inviting and transparent plinth. A distinctive central lobby providing access to the apartments and large commercial spaces are located in the plinth, connecting the volume and the surrounding urban environment. Although the three-layer parking facility has been realised above ground, it is hidden behind the apartments overlooking the Wijnhaven, taking away the anonymity of a parking structure on street level. These apartments are an essential component in adding vitality to the adjacent quay.
Between the fifth and eighth floors, the volume makes a recognizable curve to the northwest, creating space between its own volume and Barcode Architects’ CasaNova, which is currently being constructed. The towers are connected by a large, green roof garden on the fifth floor, offering extra outdoor space for the residents. By situating the roof garden on level five rather than the top of the tower, we create an interesting dialogue between this new green space and the urban environment on street level. On this same level, we added additional joint features located for the residents of both towers—such as hotel rooms that residents can reserve for their guests, a sports facility, a communal workspace and a comfortable kitchen adjacent to the roof terrace entrance.
Caro van de Venne, partner
The terraces provide all apartments with spacious outdoor areas with panoramic views over the Maas river on the south and the city centre to the north.
With the design of The Muse, Barcode Architects was ahead of the curve. The Muse served as an inspiration in the development of the Rotterdam high rise vision, which was presented in 2019.
By 2040, 50,000 homes are to be built in Rotterdam. Densification is a solution, but sky-high anonymous volumes, in which residents hardly know their neighbours or experience a sense of community, are a drawback. The focus on a resident community, the activation of the street and renewed urban living qualities make the design of The Muse a prime example for the realization of this vision. This makes The Muse the epitome of the new urban development flourishing in Rotterdam.