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New radar tower for port of Rotterdam

The port of Rotterdam has a new landmark, from sea and land, following the completion of the new 70m radar tower on the northwestern corner of Maasvlakte II

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The eye-catching "rusty brown" coloured tower, with its twisted oval shape, replaces the lighthouse at the central harbour entrance on the north side of Maasvlakte I. This tower has reached the end of its constructional lifespan and had seen its radar coverage hindered by the increasing number of buildings, cranes and other tall structures on the two Maasvlakte sites.


The new radar tower also houses the maritime radio hardware and has a beam connection (free-to-air terrestrial) with the Goeree lighthouse, 24 kms off the Hook of Holland, which also has a radar system and various hydro/meteo installations.

Rotterdam's answer to Gateshead's The Angel of the North
Rotterdam's answer to Gateshead's The Angel of the North

The rare, twisted oval shape was designed on aesthetic grounds and to enhance the tower’s rigidity (stiffness) observing accurate radar images in all weather circumstances.


The architect, Syb van Breda, acted on instructions from Hollandia Infra BV of Krimpen aan den IJssel (near Rotterdam) with the Port of Rotterdam as principals. Hollandia Kloos has also built i360 Tower in Brighton, on the south coast of England,, and the Maeslant flood barrier half way along Rotterdam’s New Waterway.

The old and the new...
The old and the new...

The tower is built from pre-rusted Corten steel with the outer rust layer acting as a coating protecting the underlying layers of steel. This makes the tower’s outside not only maintenance-free, but also wholly recyclable.


Before the tower’s three prefabricated sections were assembled on the site, a special foundation had to be built to bear the structure and spare the sea defence wall. 40m long screw-type piles were driven into the ground with a steel foundation frame connecting them just under ground zero. This part was constructed by Mobilis-Servicis to a design from engineering bureau Tauw.

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