Dutch architects Powerhouse Company has designed the largest floating office building in the world! Located at the Rijnhaven port on the Maas River in Rotterdam, it’s been rightly named the Floating Office Rotterdam. It is a prime example of large-scale ultra-sustainable construction on city waters. Defined as a “climate-resilient office design”, if the sea levels ever rise due to climate change, the office will float instead of sinking!
The energy-positive structure “was a very challenging commission and we approached it in an integrated way,” said Nanne de Ru, founder of Powerhouse Company.
Designer: Powerhouse Company
The circular office features public facilities such as a restaurant and a large outdoor terrace with a floating pool in the Maas river! Massive 6x3m floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies on every floor provide stunning views of the surroundings, as well as easy access to the outdoors, and some fresh air. Employees can even relax, and unwind, or get some work done on the spacious deck located outside while being completely surrounded by water.
The interiors are a calming melange of multiple wooden surfaces, which create an aura of peace and tranquility, thereby reducing workplace stress. The building, itself, is also constructed from wood, creating a minimum carbon footprint. The entire structure is supported by a floating body comprising fifteen concrete barges, that are pre-tensioned with tension cables. The in-situ liquid pipes in the concrete use the water in the port, to cool the office!
The floating office is also solar-powered. The roof features 870 square meters of PV panels, which actually generate more power than the office requires, so the excess power is then supplied to the city! The roof is quite an integral part of the office space since it also serves as a ‘green roof’. It holds sedum vegetation, and also 2000 herb plants, greatly encouraging biodiversity.
“As the world’s climate changes, extreme weather events and rising sea levels present new challenges for architects,” said CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation Patrick Verkooijen. “Embedding resilient features into a design before disaster strikes not only makes economic sense but it can also help us to mitigate against climate change,” he finished.
Besides being a circular, sustainable, and energy-efficient structure, the Floating Office Rotterdam also means to be a source of inspiration for the world of architecture. It hopes to inspire others to “future-proof their infrastructure”!
FOR has received the BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate and also the ‘Consciously Building’ certificate, and is truly one of the most sustainable offices in the world.