The Zomerhofkwartier, Rotterdam

This is the final part of the ZoHo plinth trilogy–but by no means is it the end of the story. So far we’ve discussed the historical context of the neighborhood, the challenges surrounding plinths, the assets in the area, and the plinth strategy. Now we are on to the solution and results.

Multi-layered solution

Strategically re-activate the plinths using innovative and creative tools such as temporary use and incubator strategy is a main tactic. The partners focus on quality over quantity, experiment, and taking calculated risks. We default towards an organic development and placemaking process, underlining the neighborhood’s industrial and “maker’s” origins.

Key players

The two main players in the project are Havensteder, as the developer, and Stipo, as the urban strategist, advisor, and network purveyor. Many tertiary parties are involved in the project, both within and extending beyond the neighborhood boundaries. These parties include the municipality and local/neighboring art, urban, and cultural organizations.

Outcomes of the plinth strategy

Meetings among the partners and various others in the network slowly determined a set of values for the ZoHo project that focused on preserving the industrial character and manufacturing uses of the neighborhood, support businesses that promote local production of goods and services, and fostering creativity, openmindedness, collaboration, and flexibility.

Through no outside funding sources nor advertising, we have a growing list of over 300 diverse parties that have shown keen interest in relocating to ZoHo, on a temporary and permanent basis. By the summer 2013 the partners have successfully found two new major, high-quality tenants for the ground floor, securing over 1,000m2 of space in 2 out of the 5 buildings, of which a majority is public or semi-public space. We worked closely with the new tenants to encourage the hardware objectives listed in the previous post.

Image 8_temporary use after Image 7_temporary use before

Above: before and after temporary use plinth strategy

Future

To continue momentum and build an identity for the neighborhood, branding and communication is a necessary step to take. Complementing the ZoHo brand identity, the partners will organize an on-going marketing campaign. Events, festivals, meetings, etc, will be held in the neighborhood, all high-lighting its capacity as a “Makers Quarter.”

Image 9_New tenant beforeImage 10_new tenant after

Roodkapje, a Rotterdam-based cultural and music venue secured over 600m2 and brought 2.000+ people to their opening party.

For more information on the ZoHo project please see http://www.zomerhofstraat76-90.com.

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