To celebrate Rotterdam's 75 years of reconstruction after the Rotterdam Blitz during World War II, Dutch firm MVRDV has designed a monumental staircase in the heart of the city. Simply called "The Stairs," the massive 180-step, 95-foot tall, 187-foot long temporary scaffolding structure opened yesterday and will be open to the public until June 12.
The staircase is located by Rotterdam Centraal Station and constructed against the Groot Handelsgebouw building, which is iconic for being one of the first to be constructed after World War II. The structure leads to an observation deck offering skyline views, a rooftop bar, and the Kriterion Cinema, a '60s hotspot that will reopen for a month to host a variety of events.
According to the architects, the staircase's position to the train station "connect[s] the contemporary icon with a historic monument," and its scaffolding structure "references the reconstruction that the city has experienced." Winy Mass, MVRDV's co-founder explains it as such:
The Stairs aim to animate the rooftop and to imagine a second layer in the next step of Rotterdam’s urban planning. A second reconstruction.
Indeed, the impressive structure inspires awe, but also optimism. There's only one way to go from here, and that's upward.