Het Nieuwe Instituut proudly announced The Podium: a spectacular platform on institute’s roof. The striking pink installation with its imposing external staircase was designed by architects MVRDV and was an extension of the institute’s exhibition MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio. Open from 1 June to 17 August 2022, The Podium offered a unique opportunity to experience architecture, the city, Museum Park and the institute from a completely new perspective. For the very first time, the roof of the institute was accessible to visitors.
With The Podium, Het Nieuwe Instituut gave partners and makers from Rotterdam, the Netherlands and beyond the opportunity to temporarily give shape to their own programming on the roof. The first major event to use the Podium was Rotterdam Architecture Month: an initiative of AIR (Architecture Institute Rotterdam), Rotterdam Festivals and Rotterdam Partners. The Podium was the Festival Heart of this edition. In the months July and August, other activities followed such as yoga classes at sunrise by Balanzs Yoga, concerts by NN North Sea Jazz Festival and Motel Mozaïque and a clothing exchange by The Swapshop. The Podium soon became a creative meeting place from and for everyone, and with the best view of the architecture that the city has to offer.
The colourful city stage occupied the roof at a height of 29 metres. It was accessible via an external staircase with 143 steps, an elevator and via the exhibition MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive of a Studio on the sixth floor of the institute. In this show, the early works of the architectural firm MVRDV were interactively explained. The Podium symbolised both MVRDV’s ambition to densify the city and make better use of rooftops, and Het Nieuwe Instituut’s ambition to increase knowledge about architecture.
The Podium at Het Nieuwe Instituut can be seen as a logical sequel to the impressive scaffolding installations that MVRDV has designed in the past. For example, in 2017 the agency placed a gigantic staircase on the Rotterdam Stationsplein to mark 75 years of reconstruction of the city and in 2018 it designed an enormous structure on the occasion of the BredaPhoto festival. With this summer stage on the roof, Het Nieuwe Instituut also linked up with the Rotterdam Rooftop Walk: an initiative of the Rotterdamse Dakendagen. This route opened in May 2022 and for a month it offered access to the roofscape of the city centre. The event allowed a large audience to experience how using rooftops can contribute to a better future for cities and city dwellers.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
Het Nieuwe Instituut is the Dutch national institute for architecture, design and digital culture. Located in the architecture city of Rotterdam, in Museum Park, Het Nieuwe Instituut has various exhibition spaces, a museum shop, a museum café, a study space and library, an auditorium, educational spaces and a garden. It holds one of the largest architecture collections in the world.
International, Rotterdam-based architecture office MVRDV offers contemporary solutions for architecture, urban design and landscape architecture in every region of the world. MVRDV – founded in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries – works in a multidisciplinary way and applies as many innovative and sustainable technologies as possible, resulting in distinctive and innovative projects.
A second life for The Podium
A precondition for constructing The Podium, the temporary intervention on Het Nieuwe Instituut’s roof, was finding the most effective reuse of its materials once dismantled. After a successful summer programme of activities and guests, countless selfies, meeting new visitors and strengthening community ties, this impressive pink structure’s disassembly took place. The institute is working with innovative design initiatives to repurpose the remains and curb avoidable waste.
Local design agency TTOTT, ‘The Talk of the Town’ – world-famous for its Rotterdam-inspired Willemsbrug lamp, Maastunnel bench and Noordsingel key box – is cleaning up and processing The Podium’s brightly coloured carpet, stairwell and floor cladding into a multifunctional side table/step stool/magazine rack. This sculptural relic is available to order from 8 September. Have your moment on the pink carpet daily in the comfort of your living room. Read more on the TTOTT Design website.
The wood panels were disassembled, sorted and brought to Germany. During the Thuringia Summer School, a global student cohort discussed social and ecological issues. This project is part of the Design & Build international collaboration between various institutes and universities, including TU Delft, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, UC Chile, TU Wien, TU Berlin (CODE), IBA Thüringen, Sto Stiftung, Landengel, AIR and the Veldacademie.
The Podium was at the heart of Rotterdam Architecture Month. The latter has written an article, with an accompanying video by the Veldacademie, about the festival heart’s new life.