Design CompetitionThe assignment began with a request for a characteristic, daringly designed office building linked to Unilever Nederland’sfactory site on the Nassaukade. Intended to become a distinctive concept in offices, the structure was also meant to bepart of a new urban fabric, the size and scale of which had to be considerably smaller than those of a 14,000 m2 officebuilding.Dura Vermeer, West 8 Urban Design and JHK Architecten teamed up and came up with a daring idea. Rather than atthe intended Oranjeboom location, the headquarters would be located on top of the current factory. This would allowa ‘bridge building’ at a prominent location to join a family of existing bridges and harbour architecture. The colossus wasprefabricated next to the factory. When presented at the World Port Days in September 2002, this skeleton was slid overthe factory, arousing tremendous public interest. The competition proposal resulted in an immediate town-planning bonus,the construction of two entire blocks with 300 homes on the Nassaukade and the Oranjeboomstraat.The officeThe office spans the current factory complex. Together with the existing historic building, it is the crowning glory of amultitude of industrial forms, buildings and materials. Thanks to its size and direction, it is an imposing presence at theentrance via the Maasboulevard, the first building in Rotterdam. It also benefits from the view on the city’s skyline.The new office has 4 layers measuring 32x133 metres. The lowest floor is 25 metres above the quay. The main entrance ison the quay, next to the classical 19th century office building. The lift and staircase are in the inner court, opening up thestoreys.The offices offer a breathtaking, panoramic view of the city centre on the other side of the Maas.Atriums and patios allow light to enter throughout the building.The vacant spaces are strategically located to ensureadequate illumination in the central zone.Transparency is not only visible on the outer façade, it also contributes to give the entire building a communicativecharacter. The building therefore adequately responds to the need for a dynamic office organization in which consultationscan be held in an informal atmosphere.