Binnenrotte SportSquare

Proposal for a flexible sport square on an exisiting market square

Twice a week, the Binnenrotte accommodates a large market. The rest of the week, it forms a huge strip of emptiness at the heart of the city centre. On these days, Rotterdam’s largest square hopelessly craves for activity.
This project capitalizes on the Binnenrotte’s unused potential. It transforms the square, on days when there is no market, into thé metropolitan sports place for all Rotterdammers: a place for jogging and skating, football, tennis and hockey; a place for sports clinics, tournaments and gym classes of the surrounding schools; a place for informal activities, play and cultural manifestations.

empty Binnenrotte square
empty Binnenrotte square

marketsquare vs sportsquare

axonometric view
axonometric view

In order to guarantee the multiple use of the square, a specific sport toolbox has been developed. Its tools enable the continuous metamorphoses from a market square into a multifunctional sports square and vice versa, all week long, year-round.

Toolbox to transform the Binnenrotte from a market into a sport square and vice versa

An 800-metre urban athletics track encircles the square. It functions as a shared space for pedestrians, joggers, bikers and skaters.

urban athletic track as shared space
urban athletic track as shared space

Two multi-sport fields out of concrete are enclosed by a pergola structure with motorized curtains that automatically descend on sport days and retract on market days.

“curtain” fields

Two moving platforms – continuing a Rotterdam tradition that includes the nearby vertical-lift railway bridge De Hef – accommodate sports activities that require a surface other than concrete.

De Hef railway bridge moving up and down to allow for ship traffic
De Hef railway bridge moving up and down to allow for ship traffic

One consists of an artificial grass platform with variable positions: set at ground level on sports days; lifted to form a covered market space on market days. The other structure features a covered artificial ice rink, with a roof that descends to ground level to become a wooden deck on market days. Finally, a sun-oriented stand accommodates a clubhouse underneath, with space for locker rooms, showers and the offices of both the square’s sports and market manager.

moving artificial grass field

The Binnenrotte Sports Square lives up to ‘Rotterdam’s Sports City’ ambition and injects the city centre with the much-needed activities other than consumption.


  • Assignment

    Proposal for a flexible sport square on an exisiting market square

  • Year 2012
  • Client


  • Location Rotterdam, NL
  • Program Outdoor sport facilities
  • Status research
  • Team
    • Thijs van Bijsterveldt
    • Oana Rades
    • Harm Timmermans
    • Pieter Heymans
    • Laura Fassio
  • Sponsor

    Creative Industries Fund NL, The New Institute & Mondriaan fund

  • Publication