The Lloydkwartier has a rich maritime past that dates back to around 1900. The Lloydpier owes its name to the Rotterdamsche Lloyd shipping company, which built a terminal on the pier, from which its passenger ships departed to the east of the world. The SAWA building owes its name to the trampled form with generous green terraces, as a reference to Eastern rice fields and the history of the place. The Lloydpier is one of Rotterdam Center’s districts with the most water. The district is characterized by a mix of architecture, from transformed monumental warehouses and old harbor monuments to unique new buildings. Over the past 15 years, the Lloydkwartier has grown from a port area to a popular residential area, due to the multitude of cultural and culinary hotspots, proximity to downtown and Euromast park, the rugged character of the district, and the view of the water.
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SAWA (in ontwikkeling)
→→ →→ →→ →→ →→ →→ →→
Loftwoningen Bedrijfsruimtes Supermarkt Sporthal TV-studio's Kinderdagverblijf Parkeergarage
→→ Hotel →→ Horeca
→→ RTV Rijnmond
→→ Loftwoningen →→ Horeca →→ Loftwoningen →→ Bedrijfsruimtes
Sportvelden Tuin op de Pier
Schiecentrale 4B is the final block in the redevelopment of the former Schiehaven power plant and surroundings. The combination of office space, residential units, and live-work units brings even more life to an area that in recent years has blossomed to become the hub of the creative industry in Rotterdam. Schiecentrale 4B consists of a spectacular new building that wraps around the north-western sides of the old Schiecentrale plant. Like a small city, the new complex offers a variety of housing types that cater for self-confidant people active in the creative industry and who are attracted to the harbour atmosphere that the area still breathes. The scale and size are in keeping with the metropolitan docklands’ context. The shape chosen for the slab makes that every residential unit enjoys views of both the River Maas and the city of Rotterdam. Programme The new building contains 55,000 square metres of programme, 7000 of which is office space. There are also 156 live-work units whose floorplans can be arranged as desired, and twenty ground-access quayside houses each with 3.5 floors. Additional amenities consist of a supermarket (2000 square metres), a gymnasium (600 square metres), 400 parking places in a supervised garage, and a semi-public deck of 3000 square metres. A sun terrace, podium, playground, and children’s day care complete the programme. Distinctive design The most distinctive feature of the project is the height of the building, a 50-metre-tall slab that stretches for a length of 130 metres and rises above the former electricity power plant. The 11-floor structure contains office space and live-work units that are accessible from a gallery faced in a specially woven stainless-steel screen. Attached to the gallery are storage units, which are normally hidden away in the basement, but are now 7
positioned opposite the front doors as eye-catching objects. All spaces on the west side of the building are fitted with glass facades. From here, occupants enjoy a spectacular view of the River Nieuwe Maas and the port. Floor-to-ceiling glass harmonica doors in the façades of the live-work units can turn the apartment into an enclosed and sunny terrace. Flexibility The shared goal of the clients was to realise a compact building complex in which the various programme elements were interchangeable. This applied to the living-working units and offices, as well as the supermarket, gym, and parking garage. Free and open floorplans of the living units (by the principles of Open Building) allow users to constantly change the layout of their homes and offices. Because of the high level of flexibility, all technical installations are surface mounted. The result is a future-proof building, able to adapt with the demands of its time.
The transformer house, containing the STROOM hotel and restaurant, is part of the former Schiecentrale in Rotterdam. After the former electricity generating plant has been adapted to accommodate audio-visual firms, two large television studios were added and the 25kV building was completed. Then it was decided that the complex needed a restaurant and a hotel. Both are now housed in the former transformer house of the power plant. To house the restaurant and hotel, Mei architects and planners enlarged the transformer house with a glazed extension at one end. The existing tall spaces are earmarked for a brasserie and a nineteen-room hotel. The stairs, the offices and the hotel suites are located in the glazed extension. These clearly visible elements give the transparent side façade a lively appearance. Rooflights The existing façade on the Lloydstraat consisted of closed brick walls and small windows. The industrial character of this façade was preserved by not punching any large windows through it for hotel rooms. Instead, the hotel rooms receive daylight from above through rooflights, and the starry sky is visible at night. Thanks to their 4-metre height, the hotel rooms consist of a lower level, containing an extensive bathroom that includes a sauna, and an upper level containing a comfortable bed with high-tech audio-visual equipment within easy reach. Beamers and wide, adjustable projection screens allow hotel guests to read the newspaper the full width of the room and thus determine their own ‘view’ from their room. Grand café The hospitality section consists of a grand café, a lounge, a multimedia hall, and a restaurant with open kitchen. An outdoor terrace and a roof terrace complete the picture. These amenities add to the Schiecentrale an ideal venue where creative entrepreneurs can meet and exchange ideas and where visitors to the Schiecentrale can spend the night.
Mei turned the originally introverted and blank transformer house, which is part of Schiecentrale, into a transparent structure that houses various businesses: the 25kV building. The transparency of the new structure was achieved by removing the originally blank façade over the full length of the building. In its place is a steel frame faced entirely with glazed panels. Housed in the new volume are all supporting facilities for the adjacent 46 office spaces - such as toilets and pantries, as well as stairwells, the lift and a corridor that provides access to the offices. Because all daylight enters the building through this side of the building, even the toilets and pantries are made of glass – half-translucent where privacy reasons apply. Space for encounters The voids in these service zones also function as air channels. Slats at the bottom and top open in the summer to ventilate the offices. What’s more, the buffer zone has a positive effect on the energy performance and building physics of the structure, an achievement that was rewarded with the Rotterdam Sustainable Building Prize in 2001. The corridor between the offices and the service spaces, such as the pantries and toilets, is a shared zone that functions as a space for encounter. The occupants of the different offices can forge new plans here and that can lead to in new collaborations. The former sombre block is now a successful address for modern firms involved in one way or another with the audio-visual sector. The transparent glass façade gives the office building a contemporary appearance, while the typically industrial character of the building has been preserved.
The sturdy character of Kraton 230 – headquarters of regional broadcasting station RTV Rijnmond - 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. Factory floor Various structural elements of the building refer to the historical industrial port activities of the place. For example, studios that are hanging on the ceiling give the impression of an industrial factory floor where news is processed, instead of harbour products. Two floors cladded 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 of 45 metres in length. The whole setting has the character of a container crane placed indoors. Moreover, the structure is made of steel H profiles, and the exposed sturdy bolt connections - combined with the rusty façades - give the building a subtly ‘used’ and weathered appearance. Projection screen Through the glass façade, the structure of the building and the square are clearly visible from the street. Latest news is projected on big screens and grabs the attention of passers-by. 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.
SAWA, a revolutionary wooden residential building, provides a unique icon to Rotterdam and represents a new generation of buildings. It marks an important step in the sustainability objectives and tangible evidence that things can be done differently. With the design of SAWA, Mei commits to changing this evolution and contribute to a healthy living environment. Innovation in timber Exceptional to SAWA is that it will be built entirely in CLT (cross laminated timber), making it the first all-wood 50-meter-high residential building in Rotterdam. There are multiple advantages of building in CLT: In addition to the fact that it stores CO2 and reduces emissions, construction time will be shorter compared to a concrete construction and living comfort will increase. Together with a team of experts, existing solutions are combined, and innovations are designed to optimize the application of wood; minimizing the amount of concrete and steel in the design; and solving the resulting fire, noise, and vibration problems. Future-proof building SAWA is a forerunner in the field of circular timber construction because it is the first project in the Netherlands where the floors are carried out without a concrete layer, but with dry ballast instead. This makes the building materials reusable in the future. The design is based on the Open Building principle: the main supporting construction consists of floors, beams, and columns, so that walls can be removed or added over time, matching the users’ preferences. This creates a high degree of flexibility and freedom of layout for both the first buyers and the next generations, making the building future-proof. Community SAWA comprises approximately 100 apartments, of which 50 rentals in the modal segment, making it possible for people with indispensable professions (police officers, teachers, nurses, etc.) to remain in the city. This living concept is enriched by various shared functions – s.a. shared mobility, tools, and a vegetable garden – therewith stimulating a lively and caring community. The green deck will function as a green connector between building and surrounding area and add value for both residents and neighbours. 27
Biodiversity SAWA is distinctive in its appearance due to the generous green terraces. With this nature-inclusive design, Mei commits to changing the evolution of the human ecosystem, caused by increasing urbanization and mineralization of the landscape urbanization, and contributes to a healthy living environment. In collaboration with city ecologists, vegetation and nest boxes are integrated into the design of terraces and facades, thus increasing the biodiversity of the neighborhood.
The former warehouse and national monument Jobsveem, also known as St. Job, on the quay of the Lloyd Pier in Rotterdam, has been changed significantly. The warehouse was originally a substantial industrial building. The design by Mei in collaboration with architect Wessel de Jonge breathes new life into the old warehouse. Since its completion in 1913, the former warehouse had been extremely introverted in character. This closed character was intended to protect the stored goods from too much daylight, rain, and wind. The structure involved the use of construction methods that were very advanced for their time. The large-scale stacked structure with concrete galleries and loading bays is an example, as is the stacked structure of timber floors and cast-iron columns filled with concrete. The levels of Jobsveem are characterised by long floors (130 x 25 m) with cast-iron columns of different heights and conditions. The warehouse is an important national and municipal monument because the function of loading and unloading resulted in a uniquely expressive façade of concrete loading decks on the side facing the water. Daylight The conversion of the warehouse into apartments and commercial spaces was an opportunity to bring daylight into the building. The unique character was preserved while three glazed atriums allow daylight to enter. They provide the adjoining dwellings with views. The concentrated intervention of the atriums preserves the characteristic appearance of the warehouse. The light courts of glass and steel emphasise the monumental components that have been carefully restored in the warehouse. Located in the atria are the main staircases, lifts, and entrances. They are lively, light spaces where residents can meet one another. These courts can also combat heat and smoke when needed. In warm weather, and in the event of calamities such as fire, the glazed roof opens up and a light breeze blows through the atrium. 35
Roof landscape The floors could be organised as desired because of the absence of bearing walls. The same flexibility can be found in the apartment plans. The roof had to be removed because of its poor condition. Inserted in its place is a new floor that crowns the building like a shed. Housed in this new roof landscape are ten penthouses for which special large, glass sliding panels were developed. Located on the ground floor are the commercial spaces that are imposing in appearance owing to the 6-metre floor-to-ceiling height. Space for restaurants and cafés is created in two places on the ground floor. The other spaces are reserved for creative companies. Located behind the big loading bay doors on the ground floor are glass doors that open out towards the quay. Owing to safety and light-control factors, steel frames are filled with mesh woven from stainless steel and can move up and down like lift gates. Old and new meet here.
Mei architects and planners Mei architects and planners realises leading projects in the Netherlands and abroad. Our work is founded on respect for the environment: for the history of the location, the current context and future living environment. Based on our expertise in the field of adaptive re-use of architectural heritage, new build projects and urban development strategies, we work on designs that put the user first. Our distinct designs tell their own story, which increases the involvement with the building and the connection between its users. With creativity, expertise and courage, we introduce innovative technical applications and user concepts that contribute to social and ecological sustainability. Mei was founded by Robert Winkel, who leads the firm together with Michiel van Loon and Robert Platje. Established in Rotterdam, we work with an ambitious, international team on assignments in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Russia and Norway, among other countries. The office structure is based on the knowledge divisions of Building Transformation, New Construction and Urban Development, within which research is fostered and knowledge is secured. To further increase brain power and decisiveness, Mei seeks collaboration with various parties in the field, from experts in the area of urban nature to the building materials industry. Mei’s work has been widely published and awarded. Mei is known for transformation projects such as Fenix I and Jobsveem in Rotterdam and the Cheese Warehouse in Gouda, and new construction such as Schiecentrale 4B and the McDonald’s pavilion at Coolsingel in Rotterdam. With the design and development of SAWA, a fully wooden residential building in Rotterdam, Mei is a pioneer in the field of creating future-proof, nature-inclusive housing. At an urban planning level, Mei specialises in complex inner-city and redevelopment projects. Mei designs dynamic masterplans for, among other things, the site of the former silk factory in Naro-Fominsk (Russia), the OPG location in Utrecht and the Cable District in Delft.
Schiecentrale Rotterdam - office Mei architects and planners, photography: Ronald Tilleman
Mei architects and planners Schiehavenkade 150 3024EZ Rotterdam +31 10 425 22 22 www.mei-arch.eu version 10.2021 meiarch mei_architects_and_planners Mei architects and planners Read more project books on our ISSUU account