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MVRDV The Podium in Rotterdam

Laura Puttkamer

MVRDV’s new temporary venue in Rotterdam: from 1 June to 17 August, the event space will be accessible at a height of 29 metres with 143 pink steps. All about MVRDV’s latest design “The Podium” here.

The new project "The Podium" by MVRDV (Photo: MVRDV)




From 1 June to 17 August, the event space will be accessible at a height of 29 metres with 143 pink steps. All about MVRDV’s latest design “The Podium” here.

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has announced that for Rotterdam Architecture Month in summer 2022, it will design a neon-pink staircase and viewing platform on Het Nieuwe Instituut. This temporary event location called The Podium will have a height of 29 metres. MVRDV’s The Podium will be accessible via a 143-step staircase.

The Podium by MVRDV

The 600 square-metre event space has been commissioned by the Instituut to make the rooftop of its building accessible to the public. The Podium will offer new perspectives over the city, staging diverse events and activities during Rotterdam’s Architecture Month from June 2022. It will also support Het Nieuwe Instituut’s ambitions to increase public knowledge about architecture.

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143 pink steps temporarily lead up to the roof of Het Nieuwe Instituut. (Photo: MVRDV)

Apart from its signature staircase, the MVRDV Podium will have a temporary elevator to ensure barrier-free access. Events will include lectures, movies, and art installations. Some temporary furniture is also expected. Eating and dining areas for example, a cinema screen, equipment for sports events and plant pots. The structure will consist of scaffolding and recyclable flooring.

After hosting the Rotterdam Architecture Month in June, The Podium will be open for other activities. These include sports classes, rooftop dinners besides children’s programmes in July and August.

The potential of rooftops

MVRDV is known as an innovative architecture firm with spectacular project. The Podium is a good example of this: Its striking pink colour and its attribute as a “parasitic structure” will bring even more culture to Rotterdam’s cultural heart. From here, it is only a short distance to another one of MVRDV’s projects. It is the publicly accessible Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen.

MVRDV is planning to explore the idea of parasitic architecture as well as the potential of Rotterdam’s rooftops further. In May 2022, the firm intends to create a series of rooftop walkways and structures in the city, which will also be accessible to the public. This Rotterdam Rooftop Walk, opening on May 26th, is organised and designed by MVRDV together with Rotterdam Rooftop Days.

The agenda of making better use of urban rooftops is “an important approach to densifying the city that will allow it to develop sustainably by preventing urban sprawl while creating opportunities to add greenery, water management, and much-needed building functions.”, according to MVRDV.

The Podium also represents Rotterdam’s ambition to give the many flat roofs in the city a function such as public programming, water storage, energy production, or greenery.

Rotterdam Architecture Month

MVRDV’s The Podium will be at the heart of the Rotterdam Architecture Festival. It will open on June 1st and will continue to be accessible to the public, offering events until August 17th, 2022.

This year, the theme for Rotterdam Architecture Month is “Vista Rotterdam”. Together with visitors, professionals and students, the organisers aim to showcase what a pleasant and sustainable living environment could look like. They will focus on the key role of design and designers to facilitate spatial transitions for society.

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The roof terrace will be open to the public during Rotterdam Architecture Month. (Photo: MVRDV)

On June 1st, 2022, the opening ceremony of the architecture Place will take place at The Podium with an opening keynote by a well-known architect. A month of culture events at The Podium and Het Nieuwe Instituut, as well as throughout the city, will follow. Fittingly, Gallery 1 at Het Nieuwe Instituut will showcase the main exhibition “(T)huis” (House/Home), which supports the theme of the Rotterdam Architecture Month.

The festival takes place each year in June, choosing a new location every time. Organisers explain that at the Rotterdam Architecture Month, the power of architecture and design presents and renews itself in relation to urgent social issues. More than 80 partners have already joined the event.


Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vrieswas founded The architecture firm MVRDV in 1993. MVRDV is based in Rotterdam and works on a global scope with a mission. The company wants to “enable cities and landscapes to develop towards a better future”. The firm works in a collaborative, research-based design style. Thus involving actors from a wide range of fields early in the process.

The Podium by MVRDV is the latest in the firm’s projects that look to provide a solution to contemporary urban issues. In line with its mission, it is another outspoken project that suggests the use of sustainable rooftop spaces to create a better urban future.

MVRDV’s projects

250 architects, designers and urbanists work at MVRDV. The firm’s work is exhibited and published worldwide and has received many international awards. Completed projects include the Netherlands Pavilion for the World EXPO 2000 in Hannover; the Market Hall, a combination of housing and retail in Rotterdam; the Pushed Slab, a sustainable office building in Paris’ first eco-district; the Unterföhring office campus near Munich; the Ypenburg housing and urban plan in The Hague; and the iconic Mirador and Celosia housing in Madrid.

Also a new project: MVRDV’s Sun Rock in Taiwan. The project stands as a symbol for a green, carbon-free future for Taiwan.

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