January 2021 saw the delivery of the first of three residential tower blocks in the Little C project: The Burton, quickly followed by The Clark and The Hammond. Following the delivery of these three buildings, Bouwinvest has added 209 liberalised sector rental homes to the Residential portfolio. The 15 buildings of the Little C project offer a total of 320 lofts and apartments, including Bouwinvest’s 209 rental apartments. Once the project is complete, this area will also include 10,000 m2 of space for offices and small-scale hospitality. And in the meantime, Familiehuis Daniel den Hoed, offering accommodation to the family members of cancer patients being treated at the nearby Erasmus MC hospital, has also opened its doors in Little C.
Not too long ago, this place in the centre of Rotterdam was somewhere people were reluctant to visit, dominated as it was by as it consisted of little more than lots of traffic flows and a piece of no man’s land. But this is now a flourishing urban centre that stitches together a number of the port city’s urban districts. And the addition of this new, thriving neighbourhood at the heart of Rotterdam is tangible proof that Bouwinvest has once again done its bit to help provide a sustainable solution to the current housing crisis. Nor has the extraordinary nature of Little C gone unnoticed in Rotterdam and beyond, as the project has already garnered a number of prizes and nominations: the 2020 Job Dura Prize, the Rotterdam Architecture Prize (both public prize and jury prize), plus it was shortlisted for the Architectenweb Awards: Residential building of the Year 2021.
Inbo architects: “Like the missing piece of a puzzle, Little C stitches together Rotterdam’s various urban districts. This strategic location now offers a high-density range of living, working and leisure. Small squares and streets, a newly added park on the water and a pedestrian bridge add a sense of cohesion and continuity. Despite its potential - its close proximity to the city centre, the Erasmus MC hospital and the Coolhaven waterfront - this part of the city was previously more inhospitable than welcoming.”
Little C on Rotterdam’s Coolhaven waterfront was clearly inspired by the architecture of New York. This can is mainly be seen in the robust brick facades, the large, black-framed windows, expressive steel railings and walkways between the various buildings. And in addition to the eye-catching craftsmanship evident in the beautiful masonry and steel stairs and railings, Little C offers an abundance of green spaces.
The design of this new urban neighbourhood also had to take into account future liveability and climate resilience. For instance, the design puts a lot of emphasis on green spaces and water management. The project boasts no less than three green plazas with tall trees, their roots planted in the parking level and their trunks and canopies emerging at street level to add a touch of nature to the plazas. All the plazas also come complete with a water retention system, which provides both water storage and the watering of the green areas in dry periods. The green character of Little C continues on the roofs: each cluster of buildings in the inner section has a roof garden for its residents. And this spring will see the opening of the new Tuschinski Park, another peaceful oasis amidst all the homes and the Coolhaven waterfront.
We all know the task we are facing. Institutional investors like Bouwinvest can play a significant role in adding to the Netherlands’ housing stock. The Actieagenda Wonen (action plan homes) and the Dutch government’s 14 NOVI areas currently have a lot of traction right across society and could act as a springboard for action. And we are not just focused on mid-segment rental homes, but also on senior homes: offering seniors the opportunity to move to suitable homes could help restore balance to the housing market. If you would like to know more, read our position paper.