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Manhattan on the Maas - De Rotterdam, The Netherlands

21 Nov 2016
Case study

Conceived as a city within a city, the three interconnected towers rise to a height of 150 meters, accommodating offices, apartments, a hotel, conference facilities, shops and eateries. Named after one of the ships that once carried thousands of Dutch migrants to New York from the same pier, De Rotterdam is part of an ambitious urban revitalization plan aimed at transforming the historic port into a lively waterfront hub of commerce, housing and leisure. Phenomenal views unfold from the towers of irregularly stacked blocks, which change subtly when viewed from different angles. The lobbies occupy a long hall that serves as a traffic hub for the 5,000 people who move through the miniature city daily

All in the timing

The timely completion of the project – which took four years, 40,000 sketches and the work of thousands – was a small triumph, not least due to the challenging inner-city location. With as many as 600 workers moving up and down the towers several times a day on a site the size of a soccer fi eld, successful execution boiled down to well planned logistics. “Together with KONE’s experts, we decided to install three KONE JumpLift solutions which played a very important role in transporting people and materials to the right spot at the right time. We were able to deliver the largest mixed-use project ever built in the Netherlands exactly on schedule,” says Jan van’t Westeinde, Senior Sustainability Manager at MAB, the developer of De Rotterdam. 

“Our collaboration was very professional. We constantly challenged KONE to reach our mutual goals in terms of timing, budget and quality. Everyone had great drive and was proud to work on this major project. After four years of hard work, we literally reached the top together,” adds van’t Westeinde.

One-of-a-kind look

The architects had specific wishes regarding the decoration of the elevator cars. To achieve the desired aesthetic, the interiors of the cabs were customised locally. “We collaborated closely with the designers and our local cab decoration supplier to meet the architect’s expectations. The operating panels are one-of-a-kind. The contours of the building are etched into the stainless steel faceplate and filled with vertical white LEDs. There is one LED per stop, which lights up with every passing floor,” says KONE Project Manager Vincent Meijer.

Alternative energy

Sustainability was as important as aesthetics in the design of De Rotterdam, one of the greenest buildings in the Netherlands. All offices are energy class A, powered by rooftop solar panels and nine wind turbines. The building is heated and cooled using the water of the Maas. This cutting edge technology is matched by the KONE elevators, which return power back to the grid. “In all respects, De Rotterdam was a unique project for KONE. Our team feels privileged to have delivered such a fine people flow solution,” concludes Meijer 


  • To provide an effi cient logistical solution enabling fast vertical movement of people and materials on a challenging site
  • To deliver eco-effi cient transit technology meeting the stringent standards of one of Holland’s greenest buildings
  • To provide a unique visual solution matching the building’s bold architectural identity


  • Construction time elevators provided contractors with easy access to the towers, enabling efficient and timely completion of the project
  • KONE provided a total elevator and escalator package equipped with advanced eco-efficiency features including the ability to return power back to the grid
  • The customised scenic elevators feature specially etched car operating panels