Carolina Pérez Rabelo

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Escuela Técnica Superior d' Arquitectura de Barcelona

P66 | WATER MUSEUM. Bringing Rotterdam closer to the river Maas.

by Carolina Pérez Rabelo  

Water and Rotterdam are inseparable. The key feature of the city is the river Maas, the city’s lifeline. However, there are not many opportunities to get close to it: the riverside is surrounded by a protection dike that creates a physical and visual barrier between city and river. The primary intention of this design is to give awareness of the river space. Choosing a location directly on the dike and the river, the water museum aims to reflect ‘in situ’ the qualities of the place, where the dynamics of the river are a special feature with the water level varying with the tides and seasons. The building is conceived as a port structure, looking at the structural simplicity of the piers located throughout Rotterdam’s industrial port. The structure is incorporated in every scale: it’s the last skin, it organizes a sequential promenade, it dissolves, duplicates or disappears to generate openings and control the sights. It is placed above the river, blurring the boundaries between the exhibition and the river’s reflection in its interior. It is a water museum that wants to raise awareness towards the river and to activate the public space along its shore, making this space communicate a dynamic story of the shifting relationship between land and water.


Carolina Pérez Rabelo  was born in the tropical south of Mexico and trained as an architect in sunny Barcelona at ETSAB (2005-2013). She has lived international architectural experiences, with an Erasmus scholarship in the Netherlands at TU Delft where she started the research for her master thesis (2010), in an international studio on Urban Development and Cultural Landscape at the School of Landscape Architecture of Tsinghua University in Beijing (2011) and with an EU/AUS Scholarship for the Joint Mobility Project Developing Architecture in Response to Climate Change in Australia at the University of Technology of Sydney (2012). She worked for a couple of years in Ramón Sanabria's office in Barcelona focusing mostly on architectural competitions. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian and confident in French and Catalan. Her interests revolve around traveling, photography, design, fashion, landscape, contemporary art, geometry, running, lomography and water management subjects.