Architecture Workroom

IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project

The IABR–Atelier Rotterdam will turn the opportunity created by the energy transition the city and port face into a driver for inclusive urban development and an engine for other important challenges regarding food, the productive city, living, social equality, and others. This means the Atelier considers energy transition not only a goal, but also a means to work on an attractive future and a resilient and inclusive Rotterdam. 

De Lage Landen 2020-2100, een toekomstverkenning— AWB & Sannah Belzer

Energy = Space 

Rather than only underground and in distant power stations, the new energy system is suddenly becoming manifest in our living environment. Spatially, it will strongly influence our cities and the way we organize and design them. The energy transition is therefore preeminently a spatial challenge. The fact that the energy production potential varies per region and even per district creates an opportunity to rethink and renew the spatial organization of cores, districts, and public facilities in connection to new infrastructure. At the district level we will see collective energy facilities of necessity develop their own language, beyond utilitarian form and function. It is only possible to reduce energy demand if the existing housing stock is thoroughly renovated and new construction projects are as energy neutral as possible. 

Energy Transition as an Urban Project 

But is there a level playing field for everyone involved, can everyone keep up with the changes or even benefit by them? Energy poverty as a consequence of the energy transition is already imminent, especially in the more vulnerable neighborhoods. Given the right approach, conversely, the energy transition can contribute to a high-quality, attractive future if it is used as a means to work on a resilient and inclusive Rotterdam in which citizens are enabled to be not only energy consumers, but also energy producers. The question the IABR–Atelier Rotterdam raises is about what this new urban quality is that the energy transition will allow us to achieve. What ecological and social added value for the city, its neighborhoods, and every individual citizen will the energy transition be able to generate? The underground infrastructure, for example, also touches on the water challenge in the districts, and new skills will be needed to make the transition possible, creating new jobs. 

Research by Design to Create Prospects for Action 

Against the background of the challenge of the energy transition the IABR–Atelier Rotterdam will test new methods for inclusive urban development and generate concrete spatial proposals with the intention of eventually realizing them. 

The 2017 to 2020 period will focus on several work trajectories that together, each at their own scale level and in their own field of action, build on the energy transition as a social and inclusive urban project. The Atelier focuses on research by design that addresses the collective strategies of energy districts, to be tested in three different Rotterdam districts. An architectural-typological exploration researches how new architectural typologies in relation to their immediate environment can contribute to the development of concrete spatial solutions as building blocks for the energy transition. 

Test Site M4H+ examines and tests the circular area development of new residential-industrial districts. The unifying trajectory integrates the output of the other work trajectories and existing studies to develop prospects for action. The platform of IABR–2018 is mainly used to present and exchange expertise and knowledge and to actively involve partners and actors (from the city and region as well as beyond) in shared knowledge development. The final results will be presented at the IABR–2020, after which they will be implemented. 

The IABR–Atelier Rotterdam: Energy Transition is a collaboration between the IABR, the City of Rotterdam (Urban Planning Department and Resilient Rotterdam) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, covering the 2017 to 2020 period. The purpose of the Atelier is to instigate solutions that municipalities and other stakeholders can subsequently implement in practice. 

Lead Designer is Joachim Declerck (Architecture Workroom Brussel), member of the Curator Team of IABR–2018+2020. 

More info on the IABR–Atelier Rotterdam here.


IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
Open Space Platform— Call Water-Land-Schap
Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia
Open Space Platform— Publication Operation Open Space
THE MISSING LINK— Curator Statement, Research Agenda and Call for Practices
Atelier Zennevallei
Urban Intervention — BRIDGE
Workshop Series — Urban Economy in the Brussels Metropolitan Area
Lecture and Debate — Fitting More Industry In
Rotterdam Biennale appoints three curators for diptych 2018+2020
A Whole World to Win— Floris Alkemade in conversation with Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck
Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods
Atelier Kortrijk 2025— Innovative urban development strategy
Designing The Future— series of debates
Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
Atelier Brussels— Expo A Good City Has Industry
Spoor Oost— Urban Renewal Project
City of Bruges— Week of the City
Zeebrugge Revitalisation— Urban Renewal Project
Torhout— experiential and identity study
Launch OASE 96 Social Poetics— The Architecture of Use and Appropriation
From cure to care— transitions in the healthy city of Utrecht
Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
Imagine Europe— Bozar
Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
Development strategy— Ostend Eastern Shore
Review of spatial structure plan— Bruges City
The City as Factory— Buda Workroom
Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
Architecture Culture Platform
Ghent Muide-Meulestede
IABR 2016 — Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City
Publication—Reweaving the Urban Carpet
Eurodelta 2030 - 2100
Eurometropolitan Blue Space
Atelier— Productive BXL
Atelier de Stad— Brussels
Lecture — Mark Brearley
Festival Kanal Play Ground
Metropolitan Coast Landscape 2100
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature— Atelier Brabantstad
Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
Atelier— In Between
Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
Preparatory workshop— development plan for Sidaplax in Ghent
Atelier De Stad Brussels— Kanal Play Ground
International Atelier— Eurometropolis
Expert advice— 'Nieuw Gent'
Preparatory workshop— housing development plan in Kapellen
Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
Vlaanderen als Ontwerp— Atelier
The Ambition of the Territory— deSingel International Arts Campus
Lecture—Carolyn Steel - The Hungry City
Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux
Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders
Guide plan—Brussels canal
The Ambition of the Territory—Belgian Pavilion Venice 2012
Making City—5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Project definition—new prison in Haren
Building for Brussels— Architecture and urban transformation in Europe
Making City—Atelier Istanbul
G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
Exploring the metropolitan condition
The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Master Class—120% Brussels
City Trajectory—Brussels Canal
Program—Building For Brussels
Exhibition—Building for Brussels
Exhibition—Architecture for Justice
Concept studios—Spatial Policy Plan of Flanders
Article A+ 282 village— Cultivate the food landscape
Vacancy - Operational Director (w/m/x)
Delta Atelier document
Vacancy— Research collaborators
Vacancy— Communication manager
Transition— Learning, living, working in 2050
Publication— Architectuurcultuur in Vlaanderen (only in NL)
Workshop II— Delta Atelier Urban Management
Air For Schools workshop— Keizer Karellaan and Leopold II-tunnel
Netwerkbijeenkomst— Ontwerp met Beleid
Bap! Biennale of architecture and landscape of Île-de-France— 1st edition
Socio-spatial study— Baudelo Building Ghent
Water+Land+Scape approved
Urbanising in Place— Rosario Workshop
Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
You Are Here - Brussels
Announcement — IABR-THE MISSING LINK Rotterdam and Brussels
Urbanising in Place— Building the Food-Water-Energy nexus
IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link— Delta Atelier
Antwerp— Mapping the shift of metropolitan phenomena in Berchem extra muros
Publication— Designing the Future
CS Genk— Campus Bret 21st century learning landscape
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— and test site M4H
IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio— Has left the starting blocks
Regional Call IABR-Atelier OVK— Help shape the future of the East Flanders Core region
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.