Design Awards 2010

The Judges Awards

07. Best City

Offbeat and fiercely committed to the new, Rotterdam has long benefi ted from its relative anonymity, eschewing tradition and celebrating innovation. Largely destroyed by German raids during the Second World War, the city now boasts a thrusting skyline – which includes the iconic Swan Bridge and the Euromast – and is home to respected architects and designers, including Rem Koolhaas and Jurgen Bey. Completed last year, the restoration of the modernist Van Nelle factory by local firm Wessel de Jonge provides off ice space for 100 creative businesses, while another overhaul – UNStudio's redevelopment of the city's former post off ice – is set to complete in 2012, incorporating a luxury hotel and upscale retail space. Rotterdam's existing shopping includes some unique off erings, such as the edgier fashion designers at Margreeth Olsthoorn's boutiques; Nieuwe Ontwerpers, selling collections from local graduates; and Studio Hergebruik, promoting products made from recycled materials. The city's restaurants are diverse – from Toko94, a low-lit Caribbean/ Brazilian/Pacific fusion restaurant, to Fabbrica, an upscale pizzeria in a former warehouse, and Las Palmas, a fish restaurant in an old Holland America Line building. In a city renowned for its dance culture, nightclub Catwalk, located in what was once a pedestrian tunnel, is a big draw. Art-wise, the conceptual shows at vast exhibition space Tent continue to impress.

Bars, restaurants & clubs: Toko94; Fabbrica; Las Palmas; Catwalk
Cultural draws: Tent conceptual art exhibition space; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; National Photography Museum
New architecture: Redevelopment of Rotterdam's former post off ice, by UNstudio
Shops: Margreeth Olsthoorn's MGHO (womenswear) and MGH20 (menswear); Nieuwe Ontwerpers; Studio Hergebruik

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