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Gestalten | Entwerfen | Darstellen Prof. Niels Jonkhans | Fakultät Architektur | Technische Hochschule Nürnberg


aussen 2 KL

design for the new Rotterdam School of Design (RSD)

by Martin Beck and Rongrui Chen

MA-Design Studio Project
Studio Prof. Niels Jonkhans
Apr.-Jul. 2013


site model 1:1000

: The project bases on the idea of the inhabitable bridge. The studies of megastructures (Yona Friedman, Konrad Wachsmann) and (historic) inhabitable bridge projects (From London Bridge to Zaha Hadid’s designs for London and Zaragoza) were the point of departure for the design of the new Rotterdam School of Design as a wide spanning bridge. All faculty buildings as well as accompanying service and leisure facilities are situated within a three-dimensional space frame that elegantly twists as it connects the stadpark and the Müllerpier in Rotterdam.
The structure of the bridge seems irregular but is defined by mathematical rules that generate the position of cross beams according to structural efficiency. The driving parameters for the calculation of the position of the bridge construction and the dimensioning of its individual members were the outline shape as defined by the (digital) mass model of the design as well as the position and approximation of weight of the internal functions.

Academic Focus: The project explores the urban and architectural potential of such a typology at its suggested location. It describes scenarios of use and examines their adequacy. It examines historic architectural ideas, accompanying theory (futuristic constructivism) and aims to adapt these ideas to fit a given programme. Special focus was given to selected realistic connotations, here the structural feasibility, to reasonably tie the futuristic idea to possible reality.
The ability to use contemporary design/construction software is in further spotlight of the MA-design studio.

Software: The software for generating the bridge construction was Grasshopper with its Karamba plug-in (Thanks to Moritz Heimrath of Bollinger-Grohmann engineers for specialist support!) while Rhino was used for 3D-drawing purposes. Visualisation was done with VRay (for Rhino) and all postproduction and layout with Adobe CS software.


Chinesische Übersetzung, Rongrui Chen:
这个项目基于“可居住的桥”的理念。它以巨构建筑(Yona Friedman, Konrad Wachsmann)以及(历史上)可居住桥体(从伦敦桥到扎哈哈迪德为伦敦和萨拉贡萨设计的作品)的研究为出发点,为新鹿特丹设计学院设计了一座大跨度的桥体。所有的教学楼以及相配套的服务和辅助设施都处在一个三维的空间构架内,它以优雅的姿态扭曲着连接了城市花园以及阿姆斯特丹 Müllerpier港口。
在软件应用方面:Grasshopper以及karramba插件用于桥梁结构计算及优化,(在此特别感谢Bollinger-Grohmann 工程师事务所Moritz Heimrath先生的专业支持!)Rhino用于3d制模绘图,Vray for Rhino用于可视化制图,排版以及后期制作使用了Adobe CS相关软件。



perspective as seen from the Nieuwe Maas


building gross volume

distribution of functions

development of structure
(inverted screenshots of (near finished) structural stages)

model studies for the development of the structure
(1:500, 3D prints)

integration of structure and function
(Rhino screenshots)
structure small

cut-away section showing skin, structure, programme
(inverted Rhino screenshot)
cut away

longitudinal section
sec small


cross sections
sections 1sections 2

internal scenarios
internal smaller

architectural models exploring internal spaces
(1:200, mixed media)
s1_200_4s1_200_0 larges1_200_2s1_200_1





Rongrui Chen, BA
Martin Beck, BA

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