Maybe you prepare your city trip by scanning the map to understand the city structure. The first thing you’ll notice here is river Maas. If you look more closely on the South Bank, you’ll notice a building shaped as a pulled-open paperclip.
This building is called the ‘Peperclip’ (referring to a paperclip and Mayor Bram Peper from 1982-1998). A nearly 500-meter long residential building with 549 apartments. Designed by architect Carel Weeber, completed in 1982.
With this building, Weeber tried to mark the end of small-scale or small-mindedness in Dutch architecture (check gnome village in the North;) ).
The ‘Peperclip’ was a prelude to the development of the Kop van Zuid. The scale of the building had to compete against the large-scale port elements in the immediate area in those days. Now the ‘Binnenhaven’ with house-boats (Stootblok-side) is the only remaining harbour-activity. The ‘Peperclip’ pixelated façade should remind us of piled-up sea containers.
The building was notorious in the ’90s, but they managed the problems mainly by allocating the houses in a different way to improve the social cohesion.
I can see the ‘Peperclip’ from the top floor of my house. I often find myself staring at all those different coloured squares, imagining people living in cubes – as if they are in small movies.
Walk around the whole building and see how it embraces a courtyard (Draaischijf) where kids can play and people can sit. You’ll see how ‘Peperclip’ fits in nicely with Feyenoord and the rest of Kop van Zuid’s Landtong and Entrepot.