Mei architects and planners designs a fully wooden residential building in Rotterdam named SAWA
In the heart of the Lloydkwartier, will be realized the first fully wooden 50-meter-high residential building in Rotterdam.
The Lloydkwartier is a new neighborhood that is being built in the old port area of the Delfshaven district in Rotterdam. The Lloydkwartier harbor area was built around 1900 and it has a rich maritime history. Weapons, pottery and spirits were traded in this quartier. Activity in the area has declined since the ’60s.
The SAWA building owes its name to the trampled form with generous green terraces, as a reference to Eastern rice fields and the history of the place.
Exceptional to SAWA is that the building will be built entirely in CLT (cross-laminated timber). SAWA is being developed in the heart of the neighborhood and will, partly because of this central location, provide added value to the neighborhood by creating meeting areas and by connecting with existing local initiatives. Various facilities will be added to the ground floor of the building and the green deck will function as a green connector between building and surrounding area (such as the communal garden) and add value for both residents and neighbours.
The program comprises approximately 100 dwellings, of which 50 rental apartments in the modal segment, making it possible for people with indispensable professions (police officers, teachers, nurses, etc.) to remain in the city. This living concept is enriched by various shared functions – such as shared mobility, tools and a vegetable garden – thus stimulating a lively community.
“As an architect, I believe we should take responsibility to create healthy societies. And this is the moment. The design for SAWA shows that things can be done differently!” – Robert Winkel, owner/architect at Mei architects and planners
In the context of the European Green Deal, UN Sustainable Development Goals and objectives of the municipality of Rotterdam to reduce CO2 emissions, the client and architect share the ambition to fully execute the building, including the main support structure, in CLT.
There are multiple advantages of building in CLT: in addition to the fact that it storages CO2 and reduces emissions, construction time will be shorter compared to concrete construction and living comfort will increase. SAWA will be an exemplary project for new generations, an important step in the sustainability objectives and tangible evidence that things can be done differently.
Dutch cities continue to grow and experience increasing pressure. The consequences of this urbanization on the human ecosystem – eg flooding, heat stress and increasing CO2 emissions – are becoming increasingly noticeable. At the same time, the habitat of birds, bees and butterflies is being considerably limited by increasing urbanization and mineralization of the landscape. With the design for SAWA, Mei commits to changing this evolution and contribute to a healthy living environment. In collaboration with city ecologists, a building is designed in a way in which vegetation is integrated into balconies, terraces and decks, thus increasing the biodiversity of the neighborhood.
Image courtesy: Mei architects and planners