Special facade design for the tallest residential tower in the Benelux

In the BouwHelden series, we zoom in on the tallest residential tower in the Netherlands: the Zalmhaventoren. Twenty years ago, Diederik Dam and his team started the first concept designs for the tower in Rotterdam. By 2022, the building will be completed and the first occupants will move into their apartment. The floor is given to BouwHeld and architect Diederik Dam.

“Close to where the Zalmhaventoren now stands, people used to leave for America by boat. With the characteristic laid-back structure, the design refers to that period. The design is also modern because it is made exclusively of glass. Also the corners, not only in the top , but in all corner apartments.Which is very nice from an architectural perspective because you have a great view from the diagonal.It makes the building so special and very transparent.It is a lighthouse for the city, especially at night when the building is lit.

Assembly on site

Special facade design for the tallest residential tower in the BeneluxThe Zalmhaven tower is perhaps the tallest prefabricated tower in the world. This meant, among other things, that corner facades on the construction site were assembled in such a way that the glass-to-glass connection was waterproof, but without the connecting pieces, because the hoisting shed still had to pass. It was a very safe but complicated way to build, which was extremely successful thanks to the use of all specialist knowledge. “

Reverse Curtain Wall

Because the hoisting shed could not reach the top, Schüco devised a method of inverting the facade elements and, so to speak, raising them. First, the highest roof with the mast was made. The steel structure was then lifted up, the fronts unfolded and hung on them instead of stacked. Basically like an inverted curtain wall.

Insure the client

The collaboration between architecture and technology is especially important when designing a building such as Zalmhaventoren. Because we have a good relationship with Schüco Holland and Germany, we were able to jointly investigate whether our facade design was possible in the concept phase. By working in this way and with Schüco’s guarantees, we were able to raise the bar for technology, quality and architecture, while removing our customers’ concerns and assuring them that the design could actually be realized.

Ease of use and comfort

Special facade design for the tallest residential tower in the BeneluxThe wind pressure on this building is enormous. Especially because all the windows run from floor to ceiling. With Schüco’s technology, we have managed to make everything wind, sound and waterproof, even on the highest floors. This is how we have succeeded in ensuring that all windows can be opened safely and that the occupants can easily get on and off the balcony even with the high wind pressure. Nice to tell is that the doors to the balconies are actually windows.

The most special aspect

We have been working on this building for twenty years, but you can already see that the building is already part of the city for many Rotterdammers. It is no longer our building, but that of the residents and Rotterdammers. It is very special. ”

Listen and see Diederik Dam himself in this video:


  • The tallest residential tower in the Benelux
  • Consists of 215 apartments, offices, parking garage, shops and a café-restaurant on the top floor.
  • 62 floors
  • 203 meters
  • highest point incl. antennas: 215m
  • 4,000 m2 glass facade

Construction team Zalmhaventoren

Customer: Zalmhaven CV (AM and Amvest)

Architect: Diederik Dam & team of Dam & Partners Architects

Contractor: BAM Bouw en Techniek – Major projects

Design engineer: Zonneveld Engineers bv

Coordinating designer: BAM Advies & Engineering

Geotechnical consultant: Geobest BV

Prefabricated supplier: Byldis

Supplier of hoisting shed: Anlæg deBoer bv

Facade manufacturer: Rollecate

Facade system: Schüco Holland

Text and photos: Schüco
Photo above: Shutterstock

Leave a Comment