30 May 2024

Black-backed gull nesting on roof Zoöp Nieuwe Instituut

By Nena Nilou

A black-backed gull has been spotted nesting on the roof Zoöp Nieuwe Instituut. Right as the Rotterdam Rooftop Days were taking place. How does Zoöp Nieuwe Instituut navigate this?

During the breeding season of co-habitants and co-users such as the magpie or the crow, it is best to stay away, at least from the places where they nest. Nieuwe Instituut and the Rotterdam Rooftop Days festival are jointly exploring how they can design the roof, as part of the entire Rotterdam rooftop landscape, in such a way that it contributes to the urban ecosystem instead of hindering it.

Flora van Gaalen, Head of Program at Het Nieuwe Instituut, explains: "In the run-up to this year's Rotterdam Rooftop Days, we sought information and advice from our Speaker for the Living, Maike van Stiphout, and artist Frank Bruggeman, who has been involved in the ecologically conscious management and maintenance of the Nieuwe Tuin since 2015." "You can imagine that, in their roles, they are not immediately enthusiastic about organizing events on the roof and installing a temporary pop-up installation. At the same time, Het Nieuwe Instituut endorses the idea of the Rooftop Days organization that, loosely following Le Corbusier and his five principles of modern architecture, the roof can be consciously used as an outdoor space to slightly compensate for the space taken up by your building and the nature that is lost as a result." "The landscape of flat roofs," in the vision of the festival organization, "is a continuation and addition to the bustling ground level."

Maike van Stiphout: "It is good that the plans have been reviewed months in advance with a more-than-human perspective, so we could still adjust the design, construction plans, and the content of the festivities if necessary."