Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
The Red Apple, Rotterdam
Posted July 2012
The Red Apple was recognized as a nominee in the 2009 CTBUH Awards Program.
Other Featured Tall Buildings

“The Wijnhaven Island forms a link between Rotterdam city centre and the River Maas. It is being redeveloped using a dynamic transformation model, which provides development guidelines that ensure a balance between new and existing construction as well as the preservation of fine views and sufficient incidence of daylight throughout the area.”
- KCAP Architects & Planners

Location
Rotterdam
Completion
2008
Height
124 m (405 ft)
Stories
38
Primary Use
Residential


Developer
PWS Rotterdam

Design Architect
KCAP

Structural Engineer
Corsmit Consulting Engineers
Contractor
Aannemersbedrijf v/h Boele & Van Eesteren

The Red Apple is a residential complex with shops, cafés, restaurants and business spaces that towers skyward at the head of Rotterdam’s Wijnhaven Island (“Wine Harbor” Island). Wijnhaven Island forms a link between Rotterdam city center and the River Maas. It is being redeveloped using a dynamic transformation model, which provides development guidelines that ensure a balance between new and existing construction, as well as the preservation of views and sufficient incidence of daylight throughout the area.

Figure 1. The Red Apple on the corner of Wijnhaven Island

The Red Apple building stands in a visually prominent position at the tip of Wijnhaven Island, with water on three sides and views across the river and the Oude Haven (“Old Harbor”). The Red Apple is a highly varied architectural mass where the existing block structure is retained to a height of 21 meters (69ft) and integrates a number of the old office buildings into the new structure, in line with the stipulations of the dynamic transformation model.

Figure 2. Massing Diagram

Figure 3. Detail of the tower

The southwest corner of the site is occupied by a slender tower that reaches a height of 124 meters (407ft). The ground-floor entrance is a spacious glazed lobby. On the immediate floors above there are live/work loft spaces, while above the 21 meter (69ft) level there are apartments of various sizes, all diagonally oriented providing for optimal views.

The converging lines of Wijnhaven Island meet at The Red Apple, outlining a five-sided volume, part of which cantilevers beyond the substructure. In this block building, apartments of various size are grouped around a central atrium, offering orientation for the circulation routes internally. Due to large apertures in the façade, this atrium also offers a stunning vista across the city.

Figure 4. The red façade stands out at street level
For both volumes, the tower and the cantilevered block, the panoramic views call for a maximum use of glass in the façade. Floor-to-ceiling solar glass between red bands of anodized aluminum characterize the façade and accentuate the building in the skyline from afar. The tower reveals the red bands as vertical lines which decrease in width towards the top to support its slender appearance. The block building is defined by horizontal layers. The red bands are formed by aluminum panels which gain their color through anodizing with no other color treatment. In the tower, they contain the load bearing structure of the façade and adapt in width to the increasing mass towards ground level.
Figure 5. The Red Apple from the banks of the River

Related Links
CTBUH Skyscraper Center Profile:
The Red Apple

Download The Red Apple 2009 CTBUH Awards Book section
2009 CTBUH Awards Book

The CTBUH would like to thank KCAP Architects & Planners for their assistance with this article. Photography © KCAP