When wandering North, do visit Benthemplein – squeezed between Zadkine college, Graphic Lyceum, SimonstraatChurch, David Lloyd gym and the Hofplein Youth Theatre (look up for Karel Apple windows!).
I love the way this colourful square gives new context to Maaskant’s architecture.
Most of the time the water square will be dry and used as a recreational space for skating, ball games and breakdance. Or for relaxing between high grasses and wild flowers that surround the old trees.
When heavy rains occur, filtered rainwater that is collected from the neighborhood will flow into the water square. Short cloudbursts will only fill parts of the square. When the rain continues, more and more parts of the water square will gradually be filled with water.
During heavy rainfall, the square’s basins retain water from the square and the surrounding rooftops, at approximately 1.7 million litres. This water is kept away from the sewage system, preventing city floods. The square helps Rotterdam keep its feet dry while showers become more intense.
The color scheme emphasizes the function of the water square: all that can flood is painted in shades of blue and all that transports water is shiny stainless steel. The 3 basin floors are painted in blue colors that match with the colors of the surroundings.
There’s a bench with wireless phone-charger and a tap for free drinking water.
Watch Benthemplein water-square live, or go there to wave at friends.