Located in Rotterdam's city center, this historically important building stands as a testament to the inextinguishable spirit of Rotterdam. Built in 1916, it was one of the only original structures still standing after Rotterdam Blitz, the aerial bombardment that in 1940 leveled nearly all of the city’s historic core. The City of Rotterdam’s objective is to re-energize the city center with the activation of this site through a combination of residential, retail, and hospitality.
The new 150-meter tower will rise towards the rear of the Postkantoor and straddle the existing courtyard at the Rodezand wing. The vaulted plinth of the tower will greatly enhance the experience of the courtyard, coupling it with the Great Hall of the Postkantoor. Designed with nonpareil windows, the POST tower shows openings that vary in size and shape to funnel daylight. This variety sets a break from the series of glass-facade towers along the new Rotterdam skyline, and celebrates the elegance of the main hall along its profile.
At the street level, the Great Hall -a vaulted, 1916 marvel soaring 22.5 meters (almost 74 feet) in height- will undergo a restoration to serve as the project’s public heart, fed by existing entrances at Coolsingel and Meent. A new entrance on Rodezand will render the hall accessible from all sides, and will connect with the building’s back courtyard to form a sweeping passageway.
The new Postkantoor will update the skyline without rupturing it, and the community will be offered a renewed take on a building full of memories. ODA is working with Dutch practice Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, widely recognized for their adaptive reuse expertise and skilled heritage assessment.
With construction set to begin in 2019, this project provides an opportunity to create a cohesive civic vision for the Postkantoor; bringing people, place, and events together.