Buildings are Rotterdam’s dizzying delight
Easily accessible modernist city has emerged as a popular destination in the Netherlands over the past decade
Although there is much cuisine and culture in Rotterdam to recommend, the city’s buildings are the astounding highlight. Less familiar to foreign visitors than Amsterdam, over the past decade Rotterdam has emerged as a popular destination in the Netherlands. Less than an hour from Amsterdam and three hours from London on the Eurostar train service, the city is easily accessible as a day trip or weekend break. The city centre was obliterated in a single day of bombing during World War 2, precipitating the Dutch surrender. While the historical centre was lost, including its medieval heart surrounded by 17th century expansion, the post-war local government boldly envisioned a brand-new city rising from the ruins. Rotterdam emerged as a modernist city with a strict division of functions — residential buildings in the suburbs and the city centre given over to offices and commerce. In the 1970s the planning philosophy changed with housing projects introduced in the city along with experim...