Construction recently got underway on the new McDonald’s pavilion on Coolsingel in Rotterdam. Surrounded by lavishly detailed historical buildings such as the General Post Office, the City Hall and the Atlanta Hotel, the existing pavilion no longer reflected the wishes and ambitions of either McDonald’s or the city of Rotterdam.
McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 invited Mei architects and planners to design a spectacular new pavilion to be realized within a short space of time, and the ‘most beautiful McDonald’s in the world’ will open its doors by the end of March.
Connection with the city
The city of Rotterdam plans to reprofile Coolsingel as a city boulevard with style. This initiative means that all existing pavilions along the street will disappear. However, McDonald’s, which holds a lease on this site until 2044, invited Mei architects and planners to design a new pavilion for the existing site with a character in keeping with the (renewed) Coolsingel and the rich historical surroundings. The new building volume has been carefully detailed and articulated by Mei to open up views of the monumental post office behind it. As a result, the pavilion has the most compact possible core, with glazed façades all around. A fully transparent lobby, with entrances on three sides, makes it seem as though the public space flows through the building. Technical installations are integrated within the roof, which is designed as a fifth façade.
Thanks to the shared efforts of the client, the city of Rotterdam and Mei architects and planners, the construction of the new pavilion also offers an opportunity to combat the ‘cluttered’ public space outside. The various power boxes for utilities and traffic regulation systems, now an eyesore on the street, are integrated into the building. Moreover, the incorporation of illumination into the façade will enhance safety on the street.
To strengthen the connection between the pavilion and its surroundings, the outdoor terrace features the same furniture found in other public spaces in the city.
a shining pavilion – day and night
Just like the historical buildings in the area, the pavilion features a richly articulated façade, carried out in one single material: brass. This warm and elegant-looking material is vandal-proof and enduring at the same time.
As McDonald’s is open day and night (24/7), its appearance after dark is important. By day the building is inviting to shoppers, while in the evening it glows to attract the nightlife crowd. The skin of brass is perforated with heart-shaped openings to form a ‘veil’ around the glazed building through which illumination shines. With the application of various degrees of perforation, the brass façade depicts a crowd of people on Coolsingel. After all, the new McDonald’s is built for the people of Rotterdam, who will soon have yet another reason to be proud of their city.
project page McDonald’s Coolsingel 44