from port area to vibrant center for creative industry
In and around the building of the former power plant on the Lloydpier in Rotterdam in Rotterdam, a vibrant area has developed for the creative and audiovisual industry, with business premises, TV studios, catering, shops and homes.
The Schiehavencentrale from the beginning of the last century was an extensive complex that included a battery house, canteen, porter’s lodge, transformer house, turbine hall and boiler house. From the 1970s onwards, the complex was faced with vacancy and impoverishment and became completely out of use in 1990. Mei architects and planners played an important role from 1999 onwards in the phased transformation of this former port area into a new ‘city port’ with a positive impulse on the development of Rotterdam. Mei was closely involved in (bottom-up) initiatives and (temporary) programming, and was the architect of all the buildings listed below on the Lloydpier.
The 25kV building was the first building of the Schiecentrale to be tackled. It was the start of the transformation and brought activity back in the area. Mei changed the initially introvert and closed transformer building into a transparent multi-company building for modern companies in the audiovisual sector. Transparency has been achieved by removing the original façade over the entire length. A steel frame with glass panels has been placed. This new zone contains all facilities for the office spaces behind.
The robust construction of the building refers to the large size of the former Schiecentrale and the imposing sea ships that used to moor here. The façade is made of rust-brown cast-iron panels with motifs from maritime and audiovisual atmospheres. The constructive tie rods in the large hall create the impression of an industrial machine hall, in which now news is processed.
The Lloydkwartier also needed a catering facility. A hotel and restaurant were given a place in the old transformer house of the power plant. The former transformer house has been enlarged with a glass extension. This clearly visible element gives a lively appearance to the otherwise closed façade. The industrial character of the building has been preserved by not making large windows for the hotel rooms, but providing them with daylight from above.
The former warehouse and national monument St. Job on the Lloydpier’s quay has undergone a radical change. With the transformation of the warehouse into a residential building and commercial spaces, daylight has made its appearance in the building. The characteristic image of the warehouse is preserved by a concentrated intervention of three glass atria.
Schiecentrale phase 4b was the last part of the redevelopment of the Schiehavencentrale. It is a multifunctional building like a small city, with offices, residences and residential live-work units and TV studios. The additional facilities include a supermarket, day care, gym, parking garage and a semi-public deck with sun terrace and playground. The spectacular new building has been built around the old Schiecentrale. The project is characterized by a high slab. The complex has the character of an unadulterated port building, in which technology from offshore and process industries are interwoven.
The former canteen building of the Schiecentrale has been adapted to offices spaces.