The final design of the Water Plaza at Benthemplein (plaza across the Hofplein Theatre) has been revealed. The Executive Board of the Rotterdam North sub-municipality adopted the layout plan on 20 December 2011. This is a big step towards transforming this plaza into an attractive city plaza that offers space for water, sports and greenery. The design is by DE URBANISTEN.
It is expected that the new Benthemplein will be ready in the summer of 2013.
Whenever it is raining heavily, the water will be collected in deepened parts of the Benthemplein. The water runs through large shiny gutters across the plaza to two shallow basins where the water is collected. Whenever it is raining longer and more heavily, the sports field - which is situated more deeply - will also be flooded. A waterfall flows down from the roof of one building. Whenever it is dry, as much water as possible will be drained off to the bottom and otherwise to the Noordsingel.
As the plaza will have many and various differences in height, you can sit almost everywhere and the three basins offer a lot of space for sports and play. These basins will be painted in nice shades of blue. Moreover, the plaza will have more plants and trees than there are now.
Because the climate is changing, it rains more frequently and more heavily. Just like many other municipalities, Rotterdam's densely populated area offers relatively little room to collect and retain all this water. Whenever it is raining extremely heavily, sewers and canals may flood, causing water to flood the streets or run into basements. The construction of water plazas such as the Benthemplein will offer a solution for this.
The concept of 'water plaza' is a Rotterdam innovation in order to relieve the sewers in a densely populated area during heavy rains and to make the city more attractive at the same time. These objectives will contribute to the ambitions of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative.
In 2009, students of the Zadkine training centre asked the Rotterdam Municipal Executive whether it was possible to make the stony Benthemplein more attractive. In addition, the municipality of Rotterdam and the Higher Water Board of Schieland and Krimpenerwaard discovered that Rotterdam North was in need of additional water collection during heavy rains. Both needs have been combined in the design of the Benthemplein. The design for the Benthemplein was created in cooperation with the surrounding area. During an intensive participation process, students and teachers of the Zadkine and Graphic Lyceum and members of the Youth Theatre, the church, the David Lloyd gym and inhabitants of the Agniese neighbourhood came up with good ideas that were included in the design of the plaza.
The municipality of Rotterdam and the Higher Water Board of Schieland and Krimpenerwaard will fund the Benthemplein water plaza partly with the support of the European Fund for Regional Development of the European Commission and the 'Mooi Nederland' national subsidy.
Water plaza Benthemplein will be transformed into an attractive city plaza that offers space for water, sports and greenery. Watch the film and see it come to life.