When: Monday, March 08 / 1:00 pm – 2:20 pm
Add to calendar: iCal / Google Calendar

Categorized under: Partner Programs

A vessel for change: Floating Office Rotterdam (Morgan State/Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee)

Moored at Rijnhaven port in Rotterdam, the Floating Office Rotterdam (FOR) for the Global Center on Adaptation is a building for a new age. Built in timber, it’s off grid and carbon-neutral, it will float – rather than flood – if water levels rise due to climate change. Fun as well as functional, it also forms a key element in a newly redeveloped port environment by providing public waterside space – and even a swimming pool. Powerhouse Company designed the floating office to reflect the values of its inhabitants: the Global Center on Adaptation. This Rotterdam NGO aims at promoting planning, investment and technology to mitigate climate change. With its own solar energy source and water-based heat-exchange system, the Floating Office Rotterdam is completely self-sufficient.


1pm ET Maryland time, which is 19.00 CET Netherlands time. The lecture is approximately 1 hr, followed by 20 min panel discussion with Q&A.

Open to the public. Admission is free. Donations are optional; proceeds will be used for architecture education programs.



The lecture is geared towards architects, developers, construction companies, engineers, and students.

About the speaker

As associate and design director at Powerhouse Company, Albert Takashi Richters heads the so-called pitch-team where initial design concepts are conceived ranging in scales from villas all the way up to urban strategies. In 2016 Albert joined Powerhouse Company after winning the competition for the Çanakkale broadcasting tower and visitor center in Turkey for which he was part of the collaborating design team at IND [Inter.National.Design].

In his work as an architect, Albert understands the architect’s role as one of mediation between parties. As such he has been involved in various competitions and large-scale urban strategies such as the recently presented Codrico Masterplan for the Rijnhaven in Rotterdam. A masterplan that demands a good balance between the place’s history, the city’s needs and the developer’s requirements by means of an architectural ensemble.

This holistic approach is one that is carried through in the architecture projects that Albert has been worked on, where an understanding of ambitions, feasibility and technical solutions becomes a way to mediate between design and a project’s further development. It is here where the Floating Office Rotterdam fits in as a design that is part of larger ambitions of the city whilst being a design that requires a representative and elegant building that is efficient, sustainable and of course, buoyant.

As a TU Delft graduate Albert has been a design tutor at the TU Delft for the Chair of Complex Projects under Prof. Kees Kaan and currently is tutoring at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design.

About Powerhouse Company

We give meaning to space through profound form and function.

We are Powerhouse Company, an award-winning architecture office based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Our story begins in 2005. Newly founded back then, we operated from kitchen tables in Rotterdam and Copenhagen. We have since grown into a multidisciplinary office of around 100 professionals, with international studios in Beijing, Oslo and Munich. Along the way we have won a number of prizes, including the Dutch Design Award, the Maaskant Prize and the World Architecture Festival Award.

Some things don’t change however. We are still led by founder Nanne de Ru, these days along with Paul Stavert, Stijn Kemper, Stefan Prins, Sander Apperlo (Munich) and Johanne Borthne (Oslo).

Our mission is to create meaningful spaces that enhance people’s lives.

We shape our projects through the collective intelligence of our dedicated team, plus our in-depth research into the historical and future context. We love to be close to our clients, thinking along with them so that we can embrace their social, economic and sustainability goals. Our multi-disciplinary team and collaborative ethos allow us to take full responsibility for any project, from sketch to construction.

We pride ourselves on the sensorial richness of our work, which results from our constant search for the sweet spot between constraints and possibilities. This process enables us to make conscious design decisions that enhance the subconscious design experience. Our approach to function is based on our belief that every inch in and around a building should enrich the overall sensation it creates. This is how we intertwine context, aesthetics and function. The outcome is the serene clarity that people sense in all our projects.

We are Powerhouse Company. We give meaning to space.

About this lecture series

This lecture is one of a series of lectures in 2021 organized by Cristina Murphy, Assistant Professor at Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning (MSU SA+P)with assistance from Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee (BRSCC). The lecture series includes speakers from the U.S.A. about Baltimore’s cityscape and urban design, and speakers from the Netherlands about innovative construction materials and circular design systems such as reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling in the built environment. Special thanks to Jeremiah Ekoja, Graduate Assistant at MSU SA+P, for his help with coordinating the lecture series.