WTC Rotterdam: The perfect fit


There’s now one more reason to check out World Trade Center Rotterdam, the imposing building complex towering above the bustling city center: its freshly installed, tailor-made outdoor escalators.

Outdoor escalators at WTC Rotterdam

Escalators might not spark a lot of interest from the public. To many, escalators are just moving staircases – nothing more, nothing less. But in engineering circles, World Trade Center Rotterdam’s outdoor escalators amount to nothing short of a technological prowess.

“Even in the' escalator world ', this is a special one,” says Rob Jue, New Construction Director of supplier Schindler, who oversaw the project.

One-of-a-kind escalators

The escalators leading up to and down from the entrance of World Trade Center Rotterdam are one-of-a-kind – quite literally. They’ve been ‘made to measure’ to espouse the shape of the building’s outdoor staircase – three flights of stairs with a long landing in between.

As a result, they almost defy categorization: are they elevators or ramps? They’re a bit of both. The escalator steps move both diagonally and horizontally, following the contours of the building’s large outdoor staircase, to offer one seamless, uninterrupted ride.

That snug fit is the culmination of six months of work. Architectural firm BiermanHenket, builder Van Wijnen, project manager Cushman & Wakefield Project & Development Services, and Schindler worked together to ensure the project was a success. “It’s a very complex construction,” says Rob.

Outdoor escalators at WTC Rotterdam

Rain or shine – weather-proof escalators

While escalators are a common sight indoors, outdoor escalators are few and far between – and for a reason. “The stairs must be able to withstand all possible weather conditions,” explains Rob. To avoid corrosion, the escalator truss was hot-dip galvanized – the steel parts were dipped into molten zinc to form an alloy coating that provides superior corrosion protection.

“The escalators are therefore more robust than other escalators, so that they can really look forward to a long future.”

With World Trade Center Rotterdam being BREEAM-certified – a distinction recognizing a building’s environmental sustainability – the escalators also had to be energy-efficient. The escalators have an A+++ energy-efficiency classification – the highest class there is.

Outdoor escalators at WTC Rotterdam

Golden looks

And they’re not just a technological and energy-efficiency wonder – they’re pleasing to the eye as well, with their matte gold looks exuding class.

Managing Director of World Trade Center Rotterdam Eveline Steenbergen seems satisfied with the end-result: “It is the epitome of modern technology, and at the same time the monumental character of the building and the beautiful staircase have been honored.”

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