Visual Groups and Cluster Planning
The Pendrecht District in Rotterdam by the Opbouw (1949-1956)
The urban plan for the district of Pendrecht, in the south of Rotterdam, is one of the most representative projects of the urban theories developed in Europe in the post-war period. It was part of a series of studies for the expansion of Rotterdam through polders, artificial sectors of land gained on the water, often on a level lower than that of the sea. Originally intended as an area to house people working in the neighbouring docks, its first plan was designed in 1949 by Lotte Stam-Beese of the Agency for Urban Development and Reconstruction in partnership with the group of architects known as “Opbouw” (the Rotterdam group of the Dutch section of the International Congresses of Modern Architecture or CIAM) led by Jaap Bakema. The project was modified following the evolution of the internal debates of postwar CIAM, progressively abandoning functionalist approaches in favour of a more integrated planning at every scale and a focus on community.