Post Office Redevelopment, Rotterdam Building, Coolsingel Design, Property News
Post Office Project by UNStudio in Rotterdam
Redevelopment of the former Post Office, The Netherlands – design by UNStudio
3 Nov 2009
Post Office Rotterdam
New future for former Post office Rotterdam
Design: Ben van Berkel of UNStudio
On 2nd November the Post Rotterdam Consortium (made up of Delta Development Group and SNS Property Finance), together with Alderman Karakus from the Municipality of Rotterdam, presented the plans for the redevelopment of the former Post office on the Coolsingel 42. The new Post Rotterdam, with completion expected in 2013, will play an important role in the realm of retail and hospitality by becoming the city’s “House of lifestyle brands.’’ It will also complement the existing retail outlets and restaurants in Rotterdam.
The Town Council approved urban planning preconditions for the project on 22nd September, 2009. With this approval, the Municipality of Rotterdam supports the plan for the new future of this national monument. The plan, a concentration of luxury retail outlets complemented by a design hotel, together with restaurants housed within an historic building, will without doubt, ensure a great location right at the centre of the city of Rotterdam.
Alderman Hamit Karakus: “In the next few years the heart of the city will undergo a complete change whereby living, working and leisure time will unite. The city stimulates, amongst other things the entrepreneurship and the complete range of shops, restaurants and cultural amenities on offer. The end goal thus: a city centre worthy of the metropolis that is Rotterdam.’’
The architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio is the architect of the design.
“For me this project is primarily all about the reuse of the building. Within architecture reuse is the most interesting and important issue of our time. Reuse is sustainable and economical. This design is aimed at enhancing and enlivening the central location of the site. Post Rotterdam will become the city’s new meeting place. Once the project is realised all floors of the former Post will be accessible to the public.
The original waiting area with its characteristic concrete arches that span the main hall, acts as a ‘catwalk’ that connects the surrounding high quality retail outlets and gives a focal point for the higher floors where restaurants and the hotel are located. The main entrance at the Coolsingel side will be restored to its former glory and the transparent “vertical foyer’’ located on the ‘Meent’ will really open up the building to the city.
This architectural extension which consists mainly of high quality glass and steel provides an area for restaurants and public events as well as acting as a showcase for the building it encloses. On the first floor this ‘’vertical foyer’’ forms an elegant connection to the glass-covered atrium,’’ stated Ben van Berkel.
On behalf of Post Rotterdam, Bart van Rooijen, General Director of Delta Projectontwikkeling, presented an outline of what is planned in the concept for Post Rotterdam. A combination of high quality retail, a variety of first class restaurants and a design hotel forms its basis.
“The high quality retail formula must be a viable addition to the existing retail sector in Rotterdam and in no way be to their detriment. This is why we aim to bring new brands to Rotterdam and indeed to The Netherlands. What is important next to the retail in ensuring that this becomes a key destination for socialising is the high quality and distinctive hospitality provided by various restaurants, cafés and lounge facilities which will strengthen and add to the city’s vitality. Located on the top floors will be a design hotel with approximately 80 rooms and a luxury restaurant.
The concept for Post Rotterdam is based on the following themes: style, fashion, food, design and shopping. This coactive combination makes visiting the entire building of interest to the consumer.
With this unique shopping concept centred upon the area of lifestyle, Post Rotterdam will realise and reach a new shopping standard for The Netherlands. This is achievable by offering the highest in quality and a full combination of retail and entertainment possibilities. With this beautiful building as a backdrop, the uniqueness and up-to-the minute style of what is on offer, will not fail to attract customers. Post Rotterdam offers an intriguing and stimulating concept which will not lose its surprise factor.
“This mix of functions, central to the concept, will make Post Rotterdam a place where the shopping experience is enjoyable and inspiring for a wide audience. Post Rotterdam is no ordinary shopping centre, it will be a House of lifestyle brands,’’ stated van Rooijen.
To date there has already been preliminary talks with several retailers and hotel chains. Construction is expected to begin towards the end of 2010 and completion is scheduled for the Spring of 2013.
Delta Development Group
DELTA DEVELOPMENT GROUP is an independent, international project developer active in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy. In the Netherlands Delta operates under Delta Projectontwikkeling B.V. and Delta Property Investment B.V.. Their real estate portfolio is geared towards office, residential, retail, logistic with a clear focus on (re)development in inner cities and industrial areas. Their ambitious growth strategy is also focused on further expansion in the property market in Europe.
SNS Property Finance
SNS Property Finance is one of the top 3 real estate financiers in the Netherlands. They combine
financial expertise with real estate know-how. Their strength lies in careful and calculated risk
strategy, primarily of the property world. For project and investment opportunities in Holland,
SNS Property Finance is the investment partner.Their head office is located in Leusden.
UNStudio – United Net for Architecture, Urbanism en Infrastructure – describes itself as a network
specialist in the realm of architecture, urban development and infrastructure. It has its roots in
Van Berkel & Bos, an architects firm which was set up in 1988 in Amsterdam by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos. Ten years later UNStudio (United Net for Architecture, Urbanism en Infrastructure) was established. The agency’s focus covers six different fields of work: Public buildings, offices, housing, urban development infrastructure-civil, products and interior. UNStudio is internationally oriented with its base in Amsterdam. Projects completed in the 90’s include the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, the Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen and the Mobius huis in ’t Gooi.
More recently UNStudio have realised the Agora theatre in Lelystad, the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart and VilLA NM in Upstate New York. Projects presently in the design and execution stages include the Masterplan for redevelopment of the railway station area in Arnhem, a luxury apartment tower block in New York, the redevelopment of the port of Genoa and a music theatre in Graz. In 2007 UNStudio was named Architect of the year for 2006/7. In October 2007 Ben van Berkel received the Charles Jencks award.
Post Office Rotterdam information from UNStudio
UNStudio Architects, NL
Location: De Bijenkorf Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Rotterdam Buildings – Selection
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