Mei architects and planners designs a unique wooden residential building ‘Sawa’ in the Lloydquarter in Rotterdam
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Rotterdam, The Netherlands – In the heart of the Lloydquarter, the first fully wooden 50-metre-high residential building in Rotterdam will be realised. Mei architects and planners has been commissioned by Nice Developers and Era Contour to build this apartment building. Exceptional to Sawa is that the building will be built entirely in CLT (cross laminated timber). Furthermore, the building is distinguished by the generous green terraces, with which the building enhances the biodiversity of the neighborhood.

Building in CLT 

In the context of the European Green Deal, UN Sustainable Development Goals and objectives of the municipality of Rotterdam to reduce CO2 emissions, the client and architect share the ambition to fully execute the building, including the main support structure, in CLT. There are multiple advantages of building in CLT: In addition to the fact that it storages CO2 and reduces emissions, construction time will be shorter compared to concrete construction and living comfort will increase. Sawa will be an exemplary project for new generations, an important step in the sustainability objectives and tangible evidence  that things can be done differently.


Dutch cities continue to grow and experience increasing pressure. The consequences of this urbanisation on the human ecosystem – for example, flooding, heat stress and increasing CO2 emissions – are becoming increasingly noticeable. At the same time, the habitat of birds, bees and butterflies is being considerably limited by increasing urbanisation and mineralisation of the landscape. With the design for Sawa, Mei commits to changing this evolution and contribute to a healthy living environment. In collaboration with city ecologists, a building is designed in a way in which vegetation is integrated into balconies, terraces and decks, thus increasing the biodiversity of the neighbourhood.

“As an architect, I believe we should take responsibility to create healthy societies. And this is the moment. The design for Sawa shows that things can be done differently,” said Robert Winkel, owner/architect at Mei architects and planners.