This website tells the story of the post-war reconstruction of Rotterdam. Information is grouped according to district, and along a timeline that indicates all the key moments during the post-war reconstruction period. The website tells the story of reconstruction from the wartime bombardment to the present day, focusing on the eastern section of the city centre. That’s the place where the city’s reconstruction started, when the first pile was driven into the ground on 15 April 1941.

In addition, personal stories from people who lived through the post-war years are told through words and pictures. Adding new personal stories will help the website to grow and remain relevant. After they have been edited, new contributions will be posted on the relevant section of the website. Share your memories by emailing your story to us at contact@wederopbouwrotterdam.nl. You can also request that somebody interview you.

The ambition is to create one single website as the most important source of information about the post-war reconstruction of the centre of Rotterdam, and to expand the site over the course of the year with both more personal stories and background information about the reconstruction of the centre of Rotterdam.

Introduction

Reconstruction is the term used to describe the rebuilding of the Netherlands after the destruction suffered during the Second World War. In architecture and urban design, the term largely concerns the period from 1945 to about 1968. Rotterdam is the country’s ultimate Reconstruction City, the place where the products of reconstruction are most clearly visible, especially in the city centre, which was wiped out by the bombardment of 14 May 1940.

2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the start of reconstruction. The identity of Rotterdam as a modern metropolis is rooted to a large extent in its rebuilt city centre. Recent years have seen a revaluation of this period. Streets planned and built during the period of reconstruction, among them Meent and Pannekoekstraat, have blossomed into vibrant thoroughfares, with the distinctive reconstruction architecture contributing significantly to their development.

It is no surprise, therefore that the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands has designated the centre a national focus area for reconstruction, thereby drawing attention to its historical qualities.

The website builds on a study carried out by Anne Beeksma and entitled Cultural-Historical Investigation into the Eastern City Centre. You can download the study here.

Contact

Share your story? Send an email to contact@wederopbouwrotterdam.nl and one of the project team members will contact you.

Organization

Initiative
Marco Stout and Astrid Karbaat (Heritage Department Rotterdam)

Platform working group
Anne Beeksma
Paul Groenendijk
Rinus van Dam
Inge Hagenbeuk
Astrid Karbaat
Marlies Lageweg
Hedwig van der Linden
Marco Stout
Amanda Terpstra

Management board
Marco Stout (voorzitter)
Ninke Happel (secretaris)
Rob Lugtenburg (penningmeester)

Advisory board
Anita Blom (senior specialist post-war construction and urban planning & project manager Exploration Post 65, RCE)
Wijnand Galema (architecture historian)
Michelle Provoost (partner Crimson Architectural Historians, managing director International New Town Institute)
Astrid Sanson (former managing director Inner City and Urban Quality, Rotterdam Municipality)
Jantje Steenhuis (archivist of Rotterdam, City Archive Rotterdam)
Wiebe Thissen (chief Visual Art & Public Space at CBK Rotterdam)
Kees Vrijdag (chairman Stichting Aan Den Slag!)

Financial contribution
dr. Hendrik Muller Fonds
Elise Mathilde Fonds
Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht
Stichting Job Dura Fonds
Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie
Van der Mandele Stichting
Van Ommeren de Voogt Stichting
VSBfonds
Gemeente Rotterdam bureau Binnenstad
Gemeente Rotterdam Bureau Monumenten

Partners
Gemeente Rotterdam (bureau Binnenstad en bureau Monumenten & Cultuurhistorie)
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed van het Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap
Stadsarchief Rotterdam
Museum Rotterdam
Historisch Genootschap Roterodamum
Air (Architecture institute Rotterdam)
StADS! (Stichting Aan Den Slag)

RSIN number
8572.62.324

Policy plan (in Dutch)
Download

Colophon

Editors
Rinus van Dam, Paul Groenendijk, Inge Hagenbeuk, Astrid Karbaat, Marlies Lageweg, Hedwig van der Linden, Marco Stout, Amanda Terpstra

Text
Paul Groenendijk (research, text)
Anne Beeksma, Inge Hagenbeuk (interviews)

Translation in English
Billy Nolan

News and social media
Inge Hagenbeuk, Marco Stout

Recent photography
Marlies Lageweg

Design / development / PR and communication
Stout/Kramer i.c.w. Rinus van Dam

Historical photography
Rotterdam City Archives
Nationaal Archive
Broekbakema
Kraaijvanger
Van der Weerd Architects
Het Nieuwe Instituut
Archive Voet
Aviodrome
Het Vrije Volk Archive

Video
Rotterdam City Archives
Copyright-free material from internet and private individuals

Disclaimer

Image rights have been settled with the sources of the pictures used. Despite this, anybody who is of the opinion that other copyright regulations may apply is advised to contact the project team at contact@wederopbouwrotterdam.nl.