In times of COVID-19 and a changing world, investigating the potential of rooftops is a very relevant topic. That is why we love to share our findings in an online interview series with rooftop experts: Rooftopics!

We visit the most innovative rooftops of Rotterdam en their creators, makers and visionairies. Léon van Geest, director of Rotterdamse Dakendagen, interviews these rooftop experts on ‘their’ rooftop and discusses what is there, and above all, what is needed on rooftops. Watch the following interview below:

#1: Depot Boijmans van Beuningen
#2: The DakAkker
#3: Green rooftop Erasmus MC
#4: De Peperklip
#5: Dakpark rooftop park
#6: Rooftop Villages
#7: Hofbogenpark
#8: A Rotterdam Rooftop

Rooftopic #1: Winy Maas on top of Depot Boijmans van Beuningen

In this first rooftop interview, we’ll be talking to architect and founder of MVRDV Winy Maas, on top of ‘his’ brand-new Depot Boijmans van Beuningen. This publicly accessible museum depot is almost finished and will open to visitors in 2021. The unique building has a rooftop park and cafe and should be open to visitors seven days a week. Léon van Geest interviews Winy about his vision on rooftops, densification of, and bringing more green into the city, and of course about the depot itself.

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopic #2: Rooftop farmer Wouter Bauman on the DakAkker

In the second part of Rooftopics, Léon van Geest interviews Wouter Bauman, rooftop farmer and founder of the DakAkker (Rooftop Field) on top of The Schieblock in Rotterdam city centre. The 1000 square meter DakAkker was the first rooftop farm in Europe en is still the biggest in the Netherlands. Vegetables and edible flowers grow here, there are chickens and there is a rooftop bistro. How did the DakAkker came to excist? And what are the ambitions for the future? Watch the interview below.

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopic #3: Healing Environment on top of Erasmus MC

In the third chapter of Rooftopics, Léon van Geest talks to Liesbeth van Heel, project leader of the green rooftop on top of the Erasmus Medical Centre. A remarkable rooftop garden that was opened in 2018. It is a place where patients, but also employees and visitors of the hospital, can relax and enjoy the green environment. Studies show that a green environment helps to heal people. Get to know more about this innovative project and the vision behind it.

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopic #4: Bas van Schelt (Vestia) at De Peperklip

In the fourt chapter of Rooftopics, Léon van Geest interviews Bas van Schelt of Vestia housing corporation on top of the brand new green roof of De Peperklip building in Rotterdam Feijenoord. This building, designed by Carel Weber (1982) has one of the longest rooftops in the city en excists of social housing units. Property manager Vestia wanted to add something extra to the then grey rooftop, but faced some challenges in their proces of realizing this project. Because investing in a green rooftop is not a natural thing to do for a social housing project. Curious to hear about this challenging process and the result?

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopic #5: Paul van Roosmalen (Rotterdam Municipality) at Dakpark

In the fifth chapter of Rooftopics, Léon van Geest talks with Paul van Roosmalen, project leader of the rooftop park Dakpark in Delfshaven, the west of Rotterdam. This park, on top of a shopping mall and a former marshalling yard, forms a barrier with the harbour and is also dike to protect the city from high water. Residents of the stoney adjacent neighbourhood wanted more green and recreational space in their area and convinced the municipality realize this huge, and well used, rooftop park. Paul van Roosmalen talks about this proces and the ambitions of the Rotterdam Municipality to extend its rooftop programme and make the city resillient for its future.

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopic #6: Laurens van der Wal and Renée Rooijmans about Rooftop Villages

In chapter six of Rooftopics, Léon van Geest talks to Laurens van der Wal (architect) and Renée Rooijmans (cultural antropologist) about exploring living on rooftops. They are the initiators of what will be the first rooftop village, on top of De Kroon, a former industrial building in Rotterdam-West. How do they see the future of city living? And what challenges did Renée face when she got the chance to live on the Hofbogen rooftop for a year? Discover this, and much more, in this interview.

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopics #7: Hofbogenpark

In our seventh Rooftopic interview Dirk van Peijpe (of De Urbanisten) talks to Léon van Geest about the future Hofbogenpark, of which he is also head designer. This former elevated railway called Hofbogen will be transformed into a green oasis for citizens in the coming years. The railway track is the longest rooftop in The Netherlands and is over 2 kilometers long. Curious to hear all about this project and design? Check out the interview.

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopic #8: A Rotterdam Rooftop

Léon van Geest talks to Jan Henk Tigelaar (Rooftop Revolution) and Esther Wienese (Rotterdams Dakenboek) about their approach in greening rooftops in different neighbourhoods of Rotterdam.

Watch the interview + more info

Rooftopics is made possible by Gemeente Rotterdam and Fonds voor de Creatieve Industrie