Enzo Valerio designs underground festival heart

Published on: 07 May 2021

Discover the undercurrent. The festival heart of Rotterdam Architecture Month opens its doors on 10 June. Architect Enzo Valerio has designed an exciting intervention in this special location. Deep beneath the surface of Kruisplein, a landscape of concrete rubble is forming from which an exhibition is being constructed that shows what the city of Rotterdam can become.

The festival heart makes the innovative power and quality of architecture visible and is the ideal place for the design sector, spatial design education and the public to meet. The exhibition can be visited from 10 to 27 June 2021 on the lowest floor of the City parking garage at Schouwburgplein 1, directly below Kruisplein.

After an extremely successful RA Month in 2019, initiators AIR, Rotterdam Festivals and Rotterdam Partners are taking an even more ambitious approach with this year’s location. The 2021 edition focuses on the undercurrent. In the undercurrent of the professional world, new ideas are developed, innovation and experimentation take place and research into the city of the future is conducted. During June, the public will have the opportunity to experience the invisible world of the undercurrent for one month in the parking garage under Kruisplein in Rotterdam.

Ode to the construction site and change

Valerio’s intervention ‘Undercurrent, behind the scenes of urban development’ gives the festival heart the face of a new generation of designers. From the immense landscape of concrete rubble, an exhibition, workshop spaces and studios are being built. Enzo Valerio: “The construction site, which characterizes the city at a time of development, is the place where the city is built and modified. It is the laboratory where, behind the screens of building scaffolding and fences, people work every day on spaces that become part of our daily lives. That sounds very ordinary, but there is nothing more special than making a place where people are happy: a good piece of city. What the city was, is and will be – that is what I want to make visible within the exhibition design. An exhibition about the future of Rotterdam, built from the demolished building stock of that same city. An ode to the construction site and the change that characterizes this city.”

Programme RA Month

In daily online and offline programming, exhibitions, tours and festivals, the innovative power of architecture is shown and linked to the major developments taking place in the city. The exhibition in the parking garage includes scale models of major area developments in Rotterdam, such as the seven city projects and the model of the city centre. Also included are contributions from a wide range of Rotterdam-based architectural firms and educational institutions. These contributions are an explicit expression of their own vision for the future development of the city. The exhibition can be visited in person by anyone, without an appointment.

Immerse yourself in architecture

There is even more to experience during RA Month 2021. Festivals and activities such as the Opening Lecture, Rotterdam Rooftop Days, the Day of Architecture, the Big Architecture Quiz and the presentation of the Rotterdam Architecture Prize 2021 make Rotterdam Architecture Month complete. Discover the undercurrent and experience how architects work and think about the city of tomorrow by means of scale models, drawings and installations.


About Enzo Valerio

Architect Enzo Valerio (1987) works on detailed projects in complex historical contexts – often involving landscapes. His work is situated on the intersection between architecture, landscape and art, with execution within his studio playing an important role. Enzo graduated in 2014 from the ETH in Zurich (CH) with the project Sihltreppen, for which he received several awards. After graduation, he gained work experience within the field of international art production at the Kunstgiesserei St. Gallen (CH), and then started his own studio. In 2020, he completed Playtime, a studio complex for designers and artists in an former post office in the centre of Rotterdam.