A Parasite for Rotterdam
In 2001, this “parasite” dwelling was erected on the roof of the lift shaft of the Las Palmas building, a former industrial complex in Rotterdam harbour. The structure was built in the context of an architectural project that seeks to exploit scarce urban space in an innovative manner. The “parasites” are housing objects designed for unusual urban situations. The organizers of the scheme, an architects’ office in Rotterdam, invited 30 young architects from all over Europe to create new forms of habitation by developing lightweight, flexible, low-cost structures that could be installed in left-over spaces where services and access already exist or are near at hand. The present prototype is connected to the water and electrical supply of the Las Palmas building. The form of the structure was determined by the lines of access and services in the “host” building, by the existing structural parameters and the architects’ aim to achieve a sculptural appearance. Thick laminated glued timber was used for the construction, a material that is still virtually unknown in the Netherlands.