The history of this book lies in Rotterdam. After the bombing in World War II, Rotterdam has been busy reinventing the city ever since. The focus has been on rebuilding the inner city. High-quality and successful buildings, plinths and public spaces can be found sideby-side to places and buildings with little quality and little success. The building production was sometimes more important than the quality of the buildings and streets. From the mid-90s, the emphasis in Rotterdam shifted from quantity to quality. The expertise of international experts like John Worthington inspired civil servants and market forces. Driven professionals such as Jan van Teeffelen embraced the inspiration, and made the lessons applicable.
In 2011, the inner city planning department of Rotterdam asked Stipo to help invent a plinth approach. We started with three pilots, and ended up developing a plinth strategy for the whole inner city. The great plinth team we created made it all possible: Renate Veerkamp, Gábor Everraert and Emiel Arends still play an important role in implementing and further developing the strategy. We were privileged to have support from the Economic Development Board Rotterdam, who stressed the urgency of good plinths.
The development of Rotterdam’s plinth strategy led to a mild form of professional deformation. Suddenly we saw bad plinths everywhere, and complex and simple ways to improve them. At the same time, by looking around, we discovered many inspiring examples of good plinths from around the world. This was good enough reason for us to compile this book, as an inspiration for all those people working on good plinths and for those who would like to.
We are extremely grateful for the dozens professionals from around the world who selflessly contributed to the book, by writing an article, partaking in an interview, or developing content. We are indebted to the multitalented designer and architect Paola Faora who helped us with the beautiful design of this book. We are most of all grateful to Meredith Glaser and Mattijs van ‘t Hoff, for all their work in both the interviewing of people, editing texts, their ideas of the product, and their positive energy and approach.
Finally, we are grateful to those organisations, willing to help us with the last step, the production and promotion of the book: AIR, the EDBR, the municipality of Rotterdam, the Delta Metropolis Association, the EFL Stichting, and Locatus.