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Euromast

Designers: Huig Maaskant

The Euromast was built for the first Floriade, an international exhibition of flowers and gardening, that was held in Rotterdam in 1960. The observation tower was the exhibition’s showpiece. The local council wanted a structure that not only offered a view of the temporary exhibition in the park but that would also act as a permanent symbol of the pride of the city of Rotterdam.

The exhibition was designed by J. Bakema and his associate, J.H. van den Broek. Bakema also submitted a proposal for an observation tower overlooking Rotterdam, but the local council preferred H.A. Maaskant’s design. During the press conference in November 1958, at which the plans for the Floriade and the tower were revealed, the name ‘Euromast’ was announced. Princess Beatrix performed the official opening in 1960.

The tower was built to a modest height of 101 metres, as whatever was happening on the ground below would not be visible from a greater height. Moreover, Maaskant feared that only a handful of tourists would venture a higher climb.

The Euromast is a concrete structure with an internal diameter of 9 metres. To increase the tower’s stability, its foundation consists of a 1,900,000-kg concrete block atop 131 concrete piles. Maaskant designed the characteristic, asymmetrical form of the crow’s nest to make the structure face the sea. Made of steel and with a 29-m diameter, it is suspended 96 metres above the ground. Its maximum projection is 12 metres. In addition to a large observation platform, the crow’s nest houses a restaurant designed as an amphitheatre offering views in all directions.

At a height of 32 metres, Maaskant provided the tower with a replica of a ship’s bridge, complete with navigational equipment and a chart room. This space allows the public to experience what it is like to navigate a seagoing vessel.
With the arrival of the nearby Dijkzicht medical centre at the end of the 1960s, the Euromast lost its status as the city’s tallest building. In 1970, an additional 85-m structure was built onto Euromast: the Space Tower, making the Euromast Rotterdam’s tallest building once again.

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