New construction Little C | Appartments, Rotterdam | Contractor: LOA’s TBI ERA Contour en TBI J.P. van Eesteren  | Architect:
© Ossip van Duivenbode

15 buildings, 15 different characters

architectum issue: roof and façade

New construction Little C | Appartments, Rotterdam | Contractor: LOA’s TBI ERA Contour en TBI J.P. van Eesteren  | Architect:
© Ossip van Duivenbode

15 brick towers – shoulder to shoulder

in the Netherlands

New construction Little C | Appartments, Rotterdam | Contractor: LOA’s TBI ERA Contour en TBI J.P. van Eesteren  | Architect:
© Ossip van Duivenbode

Products used

Dragor HV WF, Basstad HV WF, Birchridge SP WF & HF, Larvik HV WF

15 buildings, 15 different characters

Is this the Netherlands or is it New York? The fifteen brick buildings in the Little C project, Rotterdam, have a real big city vibe.

15 brick towers – shoulder to shoulder in Rotterdam

Side by side and brick by brick, Little C grew into a new district in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The huge project comprises a total of fifteen buildings. Its brickwork, large metal windows and steel walkways are reminiscent of New York’s Greenwich Village. The New York reference was proposed as a concept for the urban development plan in response to the invitation to tender. The designers from CULD Architecten, INBO Architecten and jvantspijker & partners took the “village in the city” idea and ran with it. 

How the bricks affect the street

At times, 40 designers, engineers and building contractors were involved in the planning meetings. “We looked at the urban structure, the layout and dimensions of each building, and the details. We wanted everything to harmonise in all fifteen buildings at the same time”, says Bert van Breugel, architect at Inbo. Due to the tremendous density of the site, numerous scenarios were simulated using the 3D design program SketchUp.
 
“We checked everything with the software, from the width of the alleys and the choice of bricks to the masonry patterns and the colour of the joints”, says Bert van Breugel. “It turns out that the texture of the brickwork actually affects our experience in streets as narrow as these.”

Façades with character

The budget for bricks was modest, but the sheer amount of brickwork provided opportunities for variation. “We consulted with the supplier very early on and quickly decided to opt for a high-quality basic building block”, says Michael Venderbos, the client’s project manager. Most of the façades were built using the dark red Dragor brick in two formats. Other bricks, including Basstad, Birchridge, Sonsbeek, Larvik, and a dark green glazed brick were used to create accents.
 
Joint colours, different formats and masonry patterns provided additional variations. “Dragor is a dynamic brick, robust and straightforward with many nuances of colour that let the façade shine even when the sky is overcast”, says Jaakko van ’t Spijker, architect at CULD. The same basic brick is jointed with light-coloured mortar in one apartment block and very dark mortar in the neighbouring block. “Each building has its own character and details. This can be the colour of the grouting, a horizontal band of glazed bricks or part of the vertical masonry. A slightly larger brick results in fewer joints, which also creates a different finish”, says Jaakko van ’t Spijker. “We had a lot of fun finding ways to enhance the façade with simple solutions.”

New construction Little C | Appartments, Rotterdam | Contractor: LOA’s TBI ERA Contour en TBI J.P. van Eesteren  | Architect:
© Ossip van Duivenbode

Facts & Figures

Project name: Little C, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Architecture   CULD Architecten, Inbo Architecten, jvantspijker & partners

Client   J.P. van Eesteren, ERA Contour

Year of completion   2021

Category   Roof and façade, apartment building

Products used   Dragor HV WF, Basstad HV WF, Birchridge SP WF & HF, Larvik HV WF

New construction Little C | Appartments, Rotterdam | Contractor: LOA’s TBI ERA Contour en TBI J.P. van Eesteren  | Architect:
© Ossip van Duivenbode

Dragor HV WF - Netherlands

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