Bakstenen Blikvanger

Bricks. You hardly notice them, but they are everywhere. We continuously burn and fire new ones, and grind old ones to rubble. With an eye-catching pavilion we want to show an alternative, and put circular masonry on the map.

About 10% of the waste from the city of Rotterdam consists of brick, 81.900.000 kilograms annually! Masonry walls have twice the environmental cost of limestone or cellular concrete block, and six times that of timber framed walls. This valuable material should be reused and repurposed, instead of disappearing into the ground for roadworks.

With the aid of the CityLab010 grant, a group of professionals, academics and students will build the Bakstenen Blikvanger (Brick Eye-catcher) at Marconia in Rotterdam. This spectacular pavilion is a thin, vaulted shell structure, made of circular brick and mortar. It uses Catalan vaulting, a historical technique to built vaults with less material and formwork, and combines it with 100% waste-based bricks from StoneCycling and tiles from Waterweg, produced from sludge, dredged from the Dutch riverbeds.

The project is a unique collaboration and knowledge exchange of academic institutions, building professionals and students. UPC Barcelona is providing design and expertise on Catalan vaulting, will bring skilled masons to transfer knowledge to Dutch masons and masonry students in a workshop, and will help construct the actual pavilion afterwards. Students from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences will collaborate with the project team to develop the pavilion from concept to a feasible design.

The Blikvanger is not an end in itself, but a means to address sustainable masonry, bring people together, and create awareness around this topic among Rotterdams citizens, companies and the municipality. Sustainable brick is necessary and possible!

The project will be voted on in October 2020 by a jury of twelve residents, the Stadsjury, who will deliver their evaluation to the municipal board for a final decision in December. Fingers crossed!


Project team
Diederik Veenendaal | Summum Engineering
Marta Domènech Rodríguez, David López López, Delfina Capiglioni | UPC Barcelona
Frank Huijben | Hogeschool Rotterdam
Kenny Vonk | Adviesbureau W-inst Rotterdam
Charl Smit | Fraai Werk
Tim Baan | LIJNN



de Coöperatie Expert

    Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Time: 2021
    Status: Grant application
    Project area: ca. 50 m2

    Services: Structural design and engineering, parametric modelling, project coordination


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