MELT Rotterdam Central District

melt with me!

MELT is the design proposal for the tender for the redevelopment of the Delftseplein in Rotterdam.

MELT is a place. MELT is not just a building to live, work and spend the night, but above all a destination where people meet. The multifunctional, publicly accessible building is located right next to Central Station and is the connecting link in Rotterdam’s Central District. The 140-metre high building fits in logically between the existing buildings and contributes to Rotterdam’s urban ecology with its many building-related greenery.

The municipality of Rotterdam, together with NS and Prorail, put out the tender for the redevelopment of the Delftseplein location. Anyone standing on the Delftseplein can see the imposing architecture of the Central Station, next to it the Groothandelsgebouw and the richly detailed Central Post. A location with a lot of potential, but not yet an attractive location. The redevelopment of this place is an urban puzzle due to different interests and preconditions. A complex and challenging tender for us to participate in.

The design for MELT follows the principles of the current 2011 high-rise vision. A Rotterdam layer up to 29 metres and a narrower volume above that (mid-rise), which is further narrower from a height of 69 metres (high-rise). The design distinguishes itself by stacked functions with one central entrance to stimulate meeting. The human scale of the ground floor contrasts – through scale and rhythm – with the high-rise. MELT Hospitality (the hospitable living room) and the Grand-media cafĂ© are located in the plinth. The wide, central staircase in the lobby is the pivot of the public programme in the Rotterdam layer, with a permanent mixture of people, atmospheres and activities. At the same time, the green roofs of the substructure and the central building are public and semi-public outdoor spaces.

An integral sustainability strategy has been drawn up for MELT. The design focuses on BREEAM Excellent and fits in with the sustainability ambitions of the municipality. MELT contributes to circularity in an innovative way. For example, the hotels in the mid-rise can easily be converted into small apartments. And the offices in the low-rise can be converted into homes. In addition, extra attention has been paid to energy neutrality, adaptability, smart water solutions, a mobility plan and ecologically meaningful greening.

MELT is not just a stacking of functions and programs. The limited space on the ground floor asked for a convincing solution to bring together the different flows within the building. MELT is a dynamic place where facilities, users and environment merge completely with each other.



Gemeente Rotterdam


Finalist tender/new build


Rotterdam Central District, NL


41,000 sqm


Multifunctional: residential, offices, hotel and public functions

Start design



A2 Studio, GROUP A

In collaboration with

Techniplan, DGMR, Mothership, Skaal, Clearwater, MRP Hotels, Bureau Stadsnatuur, Aardlab, BeersNielsen, Incontrol, Simulations, One 1 Development

The makers of this project

Adam Visser

Adam Visser Architect | Partner

Maarten Lever

Maarten Lever Architect | Projectleader

Laura Onnis

Laura Onnis Architect and visual artist

Brigitte van der Tuin

Brigitte van der Tuin Interior architect

Sophie Dogterom

Sophie Dogterom Designer

Gabrielius Varnelis

Gabrielius Varnelis Architect

Birgitta Rottmann

Birgitta Rottmann Architect | Projectleader

Diederik Erkel

Diederik Erkel Partner

Charlotte Nieveen van Dijkum

Charlotte Nieveen van Dijkum Architect

Paula Ramos Martinez

Paula Ramos Martinez Urban designer

External stakeholders


APF International


Angelo Gordon


New Industry

Structural Engineer

IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs



Urban design and landscape

De Urbanisten