I have to admit that this is a place I don’t come very regularly. The only reason why is that it takes quite some effort to get here. But once you have arrived, a number of rewards are waiting for you. The tranquil old village, the lively RDM campus, exhibitions in the Onderzeebootloods, a stroll along the shore of the nearby Quarantine beach. It’s all possible here in Heijplaat. Your trip to Heijplaat can even be made into a very comfortable one by taking the Aqualiner ferry to get there.
The urban layout is based on Garden Village design principles. The project was initiated in the 1910s by the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (Rotterdam Dry Dock Company), one of the largest shipbuilders in the country at that time, to provide housing for skilled workers on a roughly 17 acre peninsular site between the Waalhaven and Heysehaven basins, across the River Maas from Rotterdam’s centre.
For me the variety is what makes Heijplaat such an attractive place to go to. The low-rise picturesque row of houses next to the huge warehouses, the container-handling cranes which fill the skyline behind the former quarantine facilities for sailors with infectious diseases, they all make me want the grab my camera to capture the image.
So if you like naval history and early 20th century urban development or if you just want to discover another side of Rotterdam, Heijplaat is your place!