UNStudio Erasmus Bridge project records
Part of:
  • UNStudio (archive creator)
  • UNStudio (architectural firm)
  • Ben van Berkel (architect)
  • Caroline Bos (urban planner)

UNStudio Erasmus Bridge project records



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • Approximately 6500 drawings

    Approximately 2950 photographic materials

    Approximately 594 digital files (150 MB)

    Approximately .072 linear meter of textual records
Scope and content:

The UNStudio, Erasmus Bridge project records, 1990-1996, document the design and construction of the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam. The records consist of both digital and physical records. The material consists of approximately 500 AutoCAD files, approximately 6500 technical drawings, 1050 photographs and 0.72 linear meter of textual records consisting of reports and presentation documents, 6 original paper sketches, 4 prints, approximately 1900 slides, and one model. These primarily document the different phases of the project from design to construction.
Reference number:


Physical characteristics and technical requirements:

This fonds contains a number of born-digital files in CAD and 3D modeling formats. Due to the complex and often proprietary nature of CAD formats, proper rendering and use of these files may require highly specific software. CCA’s dedicated Study Room CAD workstation is loaded with a wide but incomplete range of such software. For further information about services and software available for interacting with obsolete or niche file formats, please contact Collection Reference (reference@cca.qc.ca) and ask to speak with the Digital Archivist.


These records are arranged into one series:

Series 1. Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1990-1996
Biographical notes:

UNStudio is an international architectural design network with four full-service international offices in Amsterdam, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Frankfurt. The firm specialises in multiple fields such as architecture, interior architecture, product design, urban development and infrastructural projects. It counts over 200 staff from 27 countries spread throughout the network.

In 1988, founding partners Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos founded the firm Van Berkel en Bos Architectenbureau. The Erasmus Bridge was among their first projects. In 1998, they renamed their practice UNStudio, standing for “united network studio.” This name refers to their multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach.

Van Berkel studied architecture at Rietveld Academy and at the Architectural Association in London, receiving the AA Diploma with Honours in 1987. Bos studied History of Art at Birkbeck College of the University of London and Urban and Regional Planning at the Faculty of Geosciences, University of Utrecht.

Their practice and research revolves around many topics including the effects of design on health, and the relation between rapid developments in computational techniques and architecture. They are interested in architecture’s capacity to engage with multiple networks and its relation to contemporary concerns such as technology, security, and sustainability.

Over his ongoing career, van Berkel has lectured and taught at many architectural schools around the world. He currently holds the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor's Chair at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Bos also taught as a guest lecturer at Princeton University, the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and the Academy of Architecture in Arnhem. In 2012 she was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.
Conditions governing access:
  • Digital material can only be accessed on-site via CCA's digital archives access interface. Please contact Reference at ref@cca.qc.ca for more information. Access by appointment only.
Conditions governing reproduction:
  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fond, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca)
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer:
  • Gift of Ben van Berkel on November 22 2013
Custodial history:
  • These records were stored at the firm’s office in Amsterdam prior to their transfer to CCA. Digital files were transferred via CD-R. These records were acquired by CCA as part of the Archaeology of the Digital project. Selected items were displayed in the show Archaeology of the Digital: Complexity and Convention, May-October 2016.
Archivist's note:
  • A single-level record for this archive was created by Digital Archivist Tessa Walsh in November 2016. Processing and description was completed by Digital Processing Archivist Justine Couture in May 2019.
Credit line:
When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation:

UNStudio Erasmus Bridge project records,
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.

When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.

Language of material:
  • Dutch
Related units of description:
  • As part of the Archeology of the Digital series of exhibitions, interviews were conducted with the related architects and published in an ePub format: Lynn, Greg. Archeology of the Digital 13:UNStudio, Erasmus Bridge. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2016. Additional resources at CCA include: Berkel, Ben van. Knowledge matters. Amsterdam: Frame Publishers, 2016 Berkel, Ben van. UNStudio: after images. Beijing: United Asia Art & Design Cooperation, 2007. Betsky, Aaron. UNStudio: l’espace flottant. Köln; Hong Kong; London; Los Angeles; Madrid; Paris; Tokyo: Taschen, 2007. Gannon, Todd (ed.). UNStudio : Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 2004. Jaeger, Falk. UNStudio.Berlin: Jovis, 2009. UNStudio. Reflections: small stuff. Amsterdam: UNStudio. 2010.

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