Nieuw Hoboken, designed by the well-known Rotterdam architect Herman Bakker, was built in 1974 as an office building, deserves better. It continues to be a distinctively burly ‘seventies’ building, but no longer is no longer appropriate for these times or this site. A closed ground floor facade and a monofunctional office building in a residential neighbourhood were signals for the new owner to consider redevelopment. To make the transformation possible, an extra volume was carefully added within the zoning plan. The new volume is subtly in proportion to the existing volume. This was achieved in part by referencing to it and building on it, for example in its plasticity and colour palette, partly by distancing itself in terms of material and texture.
Every square metre counts
The shell of the office, the location of the core, and the corner rotation have provided a wide range of residential typologies. 97 apartments, where a maximum of six of these are exactly the same. This great diversity in the type and size of homes is a consequence of a “mix to the max” approach. Together with client who wanted the largest possible number of apartments within the parameters set by the municipality, we solved this puzzle to optimally utilise every single scarce square metre. Maximum use was made of opportunities of the existing building structure and facade openings, where the functional and spatial qualities reinforce each other.
Light and air
Light and air. The choice was made to retain the original facade, and in doing so the character of the building, as far as possible. On the ground floor the closed facade was removed and replaced by an open, glazed facade. The new facade contains several entrances and residential functions which will intensely increase the quality of the public space in the Rochussenstraat. This section of the Rochussenstraat therefore forms a valued, urban neighbour to the main entrance of the Erasmus MC.
Sublimation of gravel concrete
The applications that we implemented on the facade are a tribute to gravel concrete. The light brown-pink hue in the concrete is used to return to the new elements in an intense tone, such as window frames, railings, and awnings.
These awnings and balconies have been used in the new floors that we added next to and above the existing building. Due to their sharp lines, these floors contrast with the black of the concrete, but taken together the old and new form an obvious symbiosis.
- commission: conversion office building to apartments
- location: Rochussenstraat Rotterdam
- client: Era Capital
- acoustics and building consultant: DGMR
- fire safety consultant: DGMR
- program: apartments
- floor area: 5.500 m²
- design: 2018
- completion: 2021