Symbiosis of Existing & New;
From business premises to student housing
Commissioned by Accresco Vastgoed, Mei has designed the transformation of a former office building at Glashaven 8-12, on the Wijnhaveneiland in Rotterdam. The building will get a residential program with 87 independent studios for students, communal and private outdoor spaces, and a bicycle cellar with storage facilities. The plinth houses a supermarket, which will be retained during and after the transformation. To facilitate the new program, a three-story addition is placed on the existing building. The new volume seeks to connect to the existing building and surroundings, both in architecture and size.
87 studios, bicycle parking, storage units, supermarket
Connection with existing building
The existing postwar building, designed by architect W.J. Fiolet, was built in 1957 and has a characteristic appearance for that period. In order to fit the building into its surroundings as well as possible – in accordance with the zoning plan for Wijnhaveneiland – the recognizable facade elements, such as the wide horizontal bands and large windows, will be continued in the new addition. The texture and type of materials of the new volume also respect the existing building.
The added volume on top fits well into the ensemble of surrounding developments, such as Uptown and Glashaven 16-70. By choosing three additional building layers, this transformation forms a nice bridge to the future high-rise buildings in the area. By means of a setback in the facade between the existing building and the new volume, the human scale is brought into the plan. This way, the street will remain a pleasant place for the users and future residents of the area.