Halfway Zalmhaven Tower

It’s becoming a good year for high altitude urban photography. Only two weeks after the already quite sensational photo session from the Montevideo penthouse, I was once again invited to take pictures with a number of fellow photographers from a special location in Rotterdam. This time the action took place at the Zalmhaven tower. The organizer of the event was once again Ramazan Aydogan from Rotta Historica, in collaboration with Margot de Ruiter from R365 Christie’s International Real Estate.

View up from the entrance on the Zalmhaventoren in Rotterdam
Zalmhaven 1 from street level


The Zalmhaven tower is the tallest building in the Benelux. The tower itself is 203 meters, and the mast reaches 215 meters. Officially, the name is actually Zalmhaven 1; the Zalmhaven project also includes two lower towers. In total, there are almost five hundred residences on the site where there once were shipyards and timber merchants and where salmon caught in the Maas River were brought ashore.

Photo from the 30th floor of the Zalmhaven tower in Rotterdam downward to the adjacent roof garden
Zalmhaven 2 from Zalmhaven 1

Observation deck

The plan is to have a restaurant and a publicly accessible observation deck at the very top later this year. But I get the impression that there’s no “outside” area, so while the view might be perfect, it might be less suitable for taking photos.

Residential towers at Wijnhaven island in Rotterdam during the golden hour before sunset
Bouquet of towers on Wijnhaveneiland


So we are very pleased with this opportunity to capture the view. Admittedly, it’s a bit lower than that future observation point. We have the entire thirtieth floor at our disposal, about halfway up the tower, at around a hundred meters. But the view from here is just as spectacular. There are a few residential towers nearby, the Hoge Heren and the Hoge Erasmus, which we just don’t quite overlook. But in my opinion, that only adds an extra layer to the spectacle.

Maas tower and Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam, partly hidden by the penthouse in the Hoge Erasmus residential tower
Erasmus Bridge and Hoge Erasmus

Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam with the KPN tower, The Rotterdam building, the cruise terminal and New Orleans
Evening sun on Wilhelmina Pier


This thirtieth floor is for sale in its entirety. A whopping 711 square meters, divided into ten “rooms.” If you make one round through this house, you’ll easily cover a hundred meters. Asking price: four million. But reserve some extra money for finishing because the floor will be delivered as a shell. Even kitchens, toilets, and bathrooms still need to be installed.

Collage of interior pictures of a floor in the Zalmhaven tower in Rotterdam
711 m2 shell


It seems like a fun design challenge, furnishing this floor. The question is what to do with all that space. Using part of it as an office is a possibility. It could also be something for a community living arrangement. Or perhaps a bed & breakfast? Anyway, I still need to sell some more photos and give some more tours before this place fits within my budget.

River island Noordereiland in Rotterdam, seen from Zalmhaven tower, during sunset
Island in the stream


In the Montevideo penthouse, we had to overcome some challenges to take photos, but this location is a photographer’s dream. There are a total of eight balconies, two in each direction. With views towards the city center, the harbor, the South, and the neighbourhood of Kralingen.

Aerial photo of Veerhaven marina in Rotterdam during evening twilight
Veerhaven marina at dusk

The Twin Towers of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam at nightfall
The Twin Towers of Erasmus MC


Just like with the Montevideo shoot, the timing is perfect: precisely during the golden and blue hours. And we’re very lucky with the weather. There are enough clouds to make it interesting, and there’s enough space between the clouds for the sun to shine through. And that sun sets blazingly above the port of Rotterdam.

Fiery sunset in the harbour of Rotterdam behind the Euromast
Blazing sunset

Colorful image of Rijn and Maashaven harbours and surroundings in Rotterdam in the blue hour after sunset
Rijnhaven and surroundings (with a white van…)


It does lead to some stress, some choice overlaod. The river Maas, Noordereiland, Wijnhaveneiland, Wilhelmina Pier, Erasmus MC, the Euromast, there’s so much to photograph. And the light changes by the minute. As a result, my step counter indicates that, partly due to walking around all those balconies, I’ve reached my target for the day.

Downtown Rotterdam in the blue hour after sunset seen from the Zalmhaven tower
Downtown Rotterdam


And then our time is up, and we step back into the super-fast elevator with a rich harvest of beautiful pictures. Hopefully, a new opportunity will follow soon. Thanks to Ramazan for organizing and Christie’s Real Estate for the hospitality!

The Depot building of museum Boymans in Rotterdam after sunset
The Pot and Van Nelle in one image

Other Rotta photoshoots:

The Delftse Poort
The Erasmushuis
The Mevlana Mosque

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