Image by Fedde van der Spoel

De Esch – Former waterworks site

One of the most interesting regions of Rotterdam is De Esch, a district built on the former waterworks site. It happens to be the place where I have been living for almost twenty years now. It started as a squatting project by students of the Technical University Delft who were organised in a community of artists called Utopia. They used the beautiful old and deserted buildings located around the water tower from 1872. There were drawing rooms for the technicians, there was a building for the staff and a building for the steam engine. Newer buildings from around 1955 are the filter buildings.

At the start of the 1980’s modern flats were built on the terrain, at first for students, but soon for all age groups. The smart urban planners used the old plan of the waterworks site to arrange these building which makes it a very nice district with a mixture of old and new buildings. In the midst of the site are the old water basins, most of them without water now, but used as lawns and sports fields. The two basins near the water tower still hold water and one even has a fountain.

Near the river is a stretch of unkempt nature where the people from the neighbourhood walk their dogs. This is a nice spot for a quiet Sunday stroll or a romantic walk with your partner.

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Details about this spot



Watertorenweg, De Esch, Rotterdam

Opening Times

24 hours daily


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)