Project Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Montevideo Tower

A brainteasing high-rise

Sector: Buildings

Ever since 2005, the Montevideo Tower in Rotterdam stands tall at 152 meters in this ‘Manhattan along the Maas’. The design was inspired by the skyscrapers in New York, which date back to the twenties and thirties of the last century. Diverse facilities allow this residential and office complex to cater to the needs of the modern urbanite. In order to correspond to the architectonic and user requirements, the tower was given a hybrid construction of steel and concrete: unique in the Netherlands. The building contains a logical stacking of constructive principles, with which an optimal design was attained. 

A continuous search for efficiency

The Montevideo Tower in Rotterdam was delivered to the customer in November 2005 and inaugurated on 19 December. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest residential tower in the Netherlands. BESIX undertook the entire project, from laying the foundations and constructing the shell to the final layer of paint, and even on to advising the final buyers. High rises may be a BESIX speciality, but the Montevideo was a particularly complex project because of the diversity of its residential accommodation. Along with ING, Mecanoo Architects, a handful of consultants and a cost surveyor, BESIX embarked on a continuous search for efficiency. Although the basic concept was already established, BESIX was still able to make certain changes that we believed to be necessary.

We were asked to think along with the others on optimizing the building design. We proved very directly that we could contribute. For example, squeezing the building into the budget was proving a major problem. BESIX came up with several solutions.

Our added value

Squeezing the building into the budget was proving a major problem. BESIX proposed adding another three floors. Having the additional apartments for sale for a relatively low additional cost to the developer made the overall financial package more attractive. In addition, in the original design, the “M” at the top had been abandoned as too expensive. We proposed an alternative, which by integrating the “M” into the total installation provided a budgetary feasible solution. By constantly searching for efficiencies, BESIX increased the possibilities of the project.

A brainteaser

The specific complexities required us to harness our full creativity. The difficulties started with the foundations. BESIX placed a pile wall to protect the quay wall against shifting under pressure from the pile driving. The team had to constantly monitor the slightest displacement of the quay. At the same time, BESIX had to prevent vibration damage and any other inconvenience to hotel guests of the Hotel New York, right next door. Furthermore, the client ING asked that the interior space be designed in a way that would permit an “à la carte” division later on. To make this possible, the tower block consists in fact of three constructions. The lower part is a shored construction of vertical and diagonal steel columns filled with concrete, with a concrete core in the centre of the tower. The 26 floors above are in load-bearing concrete walls with intermediate concrete floors. The main load-bearing construction from floor 28 upwards is an open steel structure. The transitions between the different constructions, the staggering in the facade surfaces and the choice of materials turned the Montevideo into a challenging brainteaser.

Project details

Project name

Montevideo Tower

Area(s) of expertise

High Rise, Residential

Contract type



Rotterdam, The Netherlands


BESIX Nederland


ING Vastgoed Ontwikkeling

Building Period

2003 - 2005


Mecanoo Architecten

Total value

€ 67.9 million

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