The Montevideo Penthouse

It’s been a while since Rotta Historica‘s Ramazan Aydogan organized one of his renowned photoshoots. We once stood on the roof of the Delftse Poort building and Erasmus House, and on a minaret of the Mevlana Mosque. However, due to the pandemic, it hadn’t happened for a few years. On January 29th, it was time again: together with nine other photographers, I was invited to capture the view from the penthouse of Montevideo.

The upper section of residential tower Montevideo in Rotterdam against a dramatic sky
Penthouse in the clouds


Montevideo is not only the capital of Uruguay but also a residential tower on Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam. Most buildings on the pier are named after former warehouses of the Holland America Line. These, in turn, were named after cities where the HAL operated.

The tower, designed by Francine Houben of Mecanoo Architects, dates back to 2005, making it almost twenty years old already. At that time, it was the tallest residential tower in the world designed by a woman, but honestly, I don’t know if that’s still the case. In this field too, fortunately, women are working their way up.

Four interior photos of the penthouse of Montevideo residential tower in Rotterdam
Industrial ambiance


The penthouse is currently for sale. The price seems to have dropped a bit but is still almost six million. For that, you get a residence of 440 m2, spread over three levels. It has a cool industrial ambiance due to the lattice structure in the living room. It’s stating the obvious that the view, at about 140 meters above the pier, is breathtaking.

Interestingly, there are only two bedrooms, but oh well, such a penthouse is less suitable for a large family anyway. I would like to make an offer, but unfortunately, the financial results of 3Develop still do not allow it.

The head of Wilhelminapier, including Hotel New York, as seen from the Montevideo penthouse
Hotel New York
Aerial view of the terrace of the Fenix Food Factory in Rotterdam
Fenix Food Factory, empty terrace in January

Outdoor spaces

The penthouse has two outdoor spaces. On the middle floor, there is a walled rooftop terrace with two windows offering a beautiful view of the World Port Center, the Nieuwe Maas River, Erasmus Bridge, and the city center. Whether the World Port Center obstructs the view or adds extra depth, that is, of course, a matter of taste.

When photographing through glass, it’s always challenging to avoid reflections, but fortunately, in this case, there is little light coming from behind, so the results are quite acceptable.

The World Port Center with in the background the river Nieuwe Maas and the city center of Rotterdam
World Port Center
Erasmus bridge and Leuvehaven harbour in Rotterdam during the evening twilight


On the top floor, there is a kind of patio with a pool. The iconic M, which turns out to be part of the window-cleaning installation, towers high above. A walkway offers a view of Katendrecht and the Rijnhaven. Much has changed here since Montevideo was built, and much more is yet to change. The construction of the Migration Museum, with an observation platform (nicknamed the Slide), is in full swing. Thanks to the Droom en Daad foundation, which also has plans for neighbor Cargill. A large-scale development with a 250-meter tower is planned around the old silo of Cornico. And the Rijnhaven itself will be partially filled in for a beach, a park, and more towers. I look forward to returning for a new shoot in about ten years.

Deliplein in the Rotterdam neighbourhood of Katendrecht, seen from above
Deliplein, heart of Katendrecht
The Migration museum with viewing platform in Rotterdam, under construction
Migration Museum with Slide
The factory and silo of Cargill in Rotterdam-Katendrecht
Cargill Feed Mill
The Codrico grain silo in Katendrecht, Rotterdam during the blue hour
The Codrico Complex


Fortunately, the weather is not too bad for the end of January. Even at this height, there is little wind, and the temperature is almost spring-like. Unfortunately, the sky is getting a bit cloudy from the west. We can forget about spectacular cloud formations and also haven’t seen the promised Sahara sand. But let me not complain: the photoshoot is perfectly timed. Around sunset, so we see the view changing almost every minute. Until Rotterdam has been transformed into an almost abstract carpet of lights.

Rijnhaven and Maashaven harbours as well as Katendrecht neighbourhood in Rotterdam during the blue hour
A sea of lights
The iconic M on the glass cleaning facility on top of Montevideo residential tower in Rotterdam
The iconic M

Many thanks to Ramazan for organizing and to R365 Christie’s Real Estate for their hospitality. May many more high-altitude photoshoots follow!

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