The Port of Rotterdam required a new radar tower after the expansion of the offshore harbour Maasvlakte 2. The location of the previous tower dating from 1974 is now obsolete, the radar itself has been re used in the new tower. Port of Rotterdam has procured the design and construction of the tower as an integrated contract.
Main contractor Hollandia Infra has selected our office for the preparation of the architectonic design. Throughout the tender process we have collaborated as an integrated team with Hollandia Infra and partners CIG, Istimewa, Servicis and PT Structural. With great succes, The project has been awarded in January 2017. After development of the design the Radar tower has been transported to its new destination.
The design of the radar tower is a synthesis of architecture, sustainability, technology and economy. The shape of the tower is logic and intelligent. The sturdy foot is oriented parallel to the road for maximum stability and minimum impact on the dike. The similarly sturdy head of the tower is oriented in the direction of the Yangtze Canal and provides the necessary space for installations. The slender taille emphasises the minimised use of material: form follows function.
High like a bird the tower keeps watch over the vast dike and waterscape and observes what cannot be seen from surface level: the long lines of the entrance of the Nieuwe Waterweg, the very reason why the radar is placed here. The tower responds to these lines by its fascinating twist, specifically designed for this location. The three-dimensional curves of the skin contribute significantly to the stiffness and stability of the tower.
Steel is the perfect material to build this tower: every curve and bend has been made of simple steel plates in a precise and economic way. The tower is very light with minimal wall thickness. The structure is made of weather proof steel, which if designed and detailed correctly, this material does not need any maintenance. Toxic materials are avoided altogether, the entire structure is recyclable.
The tower has been built in a very short time: the steel plates are shaped, welded together and transported to the building site in a few months. Parts of the interior of the tower, like installations, lift, stairs, technical room and emergency power supply, are prefabricated and where possible pre assembled in the tower segments.
The foundation is a light, but ultra stiff offshore construction. Steel piles are drilled into the solid load bearing layer 30 meters below surface. The piles are mutually connected by a sturdy steel frame, which in turn supports the tower. This foundation technology has no impact on the dike, as all forces are directly transferred into the deep sand layer. The only activity in the dike body is a temporary and minimal excavation on the land side.