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Montevideo: A New York skyscraper located in Rotterdam with an Uruguayan heritage

Updated: May 27, 2021

General Info 📚

  • Floor count: 43 Floors

  • Area: 57,530 m2 (619,200 sq ft)

  • Lifts/elevators: 7

  • Architectural style: Modernism

  • Total Height: 152.3 m (500 ft)

  • The building is named after Uruguay capital city, Montevideo.

  • Architects: Mecanoo

  • Consultant Engineer: abt (Bearing structure and the geotechnical consultancy)

  • The building is one of the tallest woman-designed buildings in the world.


The Montevideo skyscraper was realized in late 2005 on the Wilhelmina Pier next to Hotel New York. Including the M on the roof of the tower, the building is 152 meters high, and that was for a long time the tallest building in the Netherlands.

Montevideo represents the ambition of the city of Rotterdam for the urbanization of specific locations with specific projects, particularly in the area of housing.

Designed by: Francine Houben (1999-2005)

The M confirms Rotterdam’s maritime tradition and shows all Rotterdammers the wind direction. Together with the water tank on the lower-lying roof, the M makes the Holland-Amerika feeling complete.

The building refers to the Holland-America feeling that the site evokes: the place where ocean steamers and cruise ships made the crossing from Rotterdam to New York.


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The top three floors form a penthouse with a swimming pool. In addition, accommodation for offices, shops and restaurants is to be found in the building. It consists of a concrete structure poured in situ up to the 27th floor.

Montevideo at night

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Engineering 🏗

The top levels are borne by a steel structure that facilitates a flexible subdivision.

Montevideo also has an underground car park over two levels.

By implementing parts of the structure in steel, the building’s layout is not only far more flexible, but it is also lighter. It was consequently possible to establish the building’s foundation on the first sand layer. This made the building’s construction cheaper.

The tower consists of both programmatically and structurally of three components that link up to the function.

The ground floor and the first two floors were kept open constructively as much as possible. Strong steel was used for the columns and the concrete core and buttresses provide the necessary stability. Stability is now obtained by diagonally placed steel sections directly behind the façade; the so-called tube façade structure.

Naturally, the design of three different structures also meant that bridging structures had to be developed. Heavy beams were developed for this purpose, composed of plates of maximum thickness which are to be supplied according to the S355 quality standard.


Source: Mecanoo, abt



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