Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rotterdam Photo Essay: De Trap (The Staircase) – Groot Handelsgebouw Roof Terrace – Rotterdam Skyline

Dutchman and I were visiting Rotterdam last June and we were able to see and experience the ‘De Trap’ (The Staircase) art installation. Although the day was a bit grey with a little bit of showers, we were quite lucky to have made it here, on the last weekend of the De Trap exposition.


‘De Trap’ is a massive 180-step staircase installed in front of the Groot Handelsgebouw on the stationsplein (station plaza) of the Rotterdam Centraal Station. The entrance is free of charge. This was an idea of the MVRDV Architects in conjunction with the 75th year celebration of the city’s rebuilding after the WW2 (World War 2).

Rotterdam was bombed by the Nazis on the 14th of May 1940. The whole city lay in ruins. Being a small country with a small military, the Netherlands thereafter surrendered to Nazi Germany. 5 years later the war ended and the city was rebuilt. It took years to rebuild Rotterdam.

Because the historical centre was destroyed, Rotterdam is known in the country as the most modern city in the Netherlands. There was even a time when locals refer to Rotterdam as the ugly duckling of all Dutch cities. Not anymore now though. The ugly duckling has slowly become a modern-day princess.

Learn more here about De Trap exposition (in Dutch):


But the ‘De Trap’ is only a part of the whole bigger attraction. When you arrive at the top of the staircase you will get full access to the roof terrace of the Groot Handelsgebouw (GHG), an office building with over 180 tenants. This building is the largest multi-tenanted building in the Netherlands and its roofdeck terrace boasts of stunning views of the skyline of Rotterdam.

Dutchman and I enjoyed our visit here very much. We did not expect to have access to the roofdeck terrace, so this was a real treat for us. The Rotterdam skyline views were simply amazing.

Enjoy the photos! And brace yourself because there’s a lot!


De Trap (The Staircase) on stationsplein (Station Plaza) just outside of the Rotterdam Centraal Station. 


Umm, I got bombed while making a selfie.


The stationsplein (Station Plaza) just outside Rotterdam Centraal Station.


At the roofdeck of the Groot Handelsgebouw.


Mock-up drawings by MVRDV Architects of popular buildings in Rotterdam with a what-the-building-would-look-like-if-a-staircase-is-installed-scenario. These drawings were exhibited on the roof terrace.


Closer view of the Rotterdam skyline.


A panorama of Rotterdam.


This is the Rotterdam skyline. 75 years ago the city lay in ruins.


You can see a small part of the sea port area far ahead.


The Groot Handelsgebouw has 180 tenants.


Travel Period: June 2016
Destination: Rotterdam (South Holland), the Netherlands

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