The new headquarters of local radio and television station RTV Rijnmond is phase 4a in the redevelopment of the Schiecentrale on Lloydstraat in Rotterdam. The building, Kraton 230, which houses not only RTV Rijnmond but also other firms, forms the heart of the creative industry in Rotterdam along with Schiecentrale, the 25kV building, STROOM hotel and restaurant, and the new building of 4B.
The sturdy character of the RTV Rijnmond building by Mei Architects en stedenbouwers, both in scale and appearance, is a direct reference to the large size of the Schiecentrale, a former electricity generating station, and to the imposing ships that used to dock on the quay nearby. The façade of the building is made of rusty brown cast-iron panels that are decorated with maritime and audio-visual motifs designed by Studio Job. The window openings in this cast-iron section extend over two levels. The ground-floor façade facing Lloydstraat is a transparent wall of glass below two cantilevered levels faced with steel panels. That gives this section of the building the character of a large awning that directs attention to the entrance and studios of RTV Rijnmond.
The entrance of Kraton 230 leads to a large hall containing studio spaces where regional radio and TV programmes are produced. Grouped around these studios are all the supporting spaces such as canteen, editorial spaces and server room. The studios hanging in the space and the big void give the setting the character of an industrial factory floor where news rather than harbour products are processed. The two floors clad in metal panels are supported by two striking V-stanchions whose tapering legs come together on the studio square. Spanning on top of the stanchions are two large lattice girders 45 metres in length. The whole setting has the character of a container crane placed indoors. Other structural elements also recall the industrial port activities of days gone by. The structure is made of steel H profiles. The exposed sturdy bolt connections combine with the rusty façade to give the building a subtly well-used appearance.
The structure of the building and the square are clearly visible from the street through the glazed façade. The images of current news on the big projection screens on the square are the first things that grab attention. The circle of news processing is thus complete: news comes from the street, is then processed in the building and is then visible again from the street. The building has a total floor area of 10,000 metres.