RCD Magazine #9

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CBRE “RCD is the place to be for businesses” CLOSURE Takes care of subscription cancellations after a loved one’s passing AT THE HEART OF TUESDAY: MAKING MEETINGS FUN AND INSPIRING Martine Lekkerkerker and Marischka de Knoop SWISSCOM A Swiss Telecom Company where people feel at home ROTTERDAM-CENTRALDISTRICT.NL #9 MARCH 2023
3 R C D M A G A Z I N E LEASING@GHG.NL Jullie kantoor naar Rotterdam Centraal?


How wonderful that you’ve picked up this issue of RCD Magazine! Featured on the cover are two dazzling young ladies who work at Tuesday. Located on the 23rd floor of the Millennium Tower, Tuesday is a company on a mission to make meetings fun again, from brainstorming and decision-making to forging and sealing deals. After our interview with Martine and Marischka, we were all revved up for our next meeting. And their view across the Rotterdam Central District is, in a word: amazing!

This issue shines a spotlight on sustainability, and we’re thrilled to feature several brilliant organizations that were happy to share their own sustainability stories with us. Savills told us why sustainability certificates matter, but don’t paint a complete picture. Michel Pan of D&B The Facility Group explained that we need to expand our thinking about sustainability beyond bricks and mortar to include people. And we paid a visit to DakAkker on the roof of the Schieblock.

We were also hugely impressed with Graciëlla van Vliet’s story. She is the creator of Closure, a one-stop platform based in the Groot Handelsgebouw that cancels subscriptions, memberships, contracts and accounts of the deceased as a service to the bereaved.

In short: we give you another terrific issue packed with RCD gems! Happy reading!

7 What’s on? Check the RCD Agenda 8 Martine Lekkerkerker and Marischka de Knoop, Tuesday:
arrange meetings that are fun and enjoyable, easy and worthwhile.” 13 RCD Up 2 Date 14 RCD People are taking the stage 16 Home Tours in Rotterdam Central District 19 Microlab A community-centred reflection of the entrepreneurial climate 20 Women in Tech “We were struck by the ongoing under-representation of female leadership in the sector” 22 Coffee Break With Wouter Bauman, rooftop farmer 24 #RCD Online 25 RCD Hotspots 26 Members 27 Column by Eduard Voorn Give us vibrant nightlife, attractive streets, and something to celebrate 28 CBRE “RCD is the place to be for businesses” 30 Sustainability Special Introduction with Iris Kampers, ESG Advisor at real estate advisor Savills 32 Swisscom A Swiss telecom company where people feel at home 34 Michel Pan, director of business strategy and development “D&B unites sustainability for people and planet” 37 Culture Working on your passion at Codarts 39 RCD end-of-year meeting @ Tuesday 40 Glasshouse Dinner @ Groot Handelsgebouw 41 Closure Takes care of subscription cancellations after a loved one’s passing 42 Architecture Esveha Building 44 Memoboard 46 Join the Rotterdam Central District Community 47 RCD Members & Colophon CBRE “RCD is the place to be for businesses” CLOSURE Takes care of subscription cancellations after a loved one’s passing 41 28 INDEX AT THE HEART OF TUESDAY: MAKING MEETINGS FUN AND INSPIRING coverstory 8 Martine Lekkerkerker and Marischka de Knoop SWISSCOM A Swiss Telecom Company where people feel at home 32 5 R C D M A G A Z I N E


expert perspectives on the future of real estate


It’s our people that make Savills different. Each and every one of them are expert real estate professionals. But above all - they have a personal approach. Committed, driven, down-to-earth and solution-oriented. Working with you today, offering strategic advice for tomorrow.

I am Iris Kampers
I am Driven
I am A biologist
Property starts with people
I am ESG


Wednesday 8 February @ Bird

Tallulah Rose combines infectious grooves and melodies with ethereal soundscapes and heartfelt poetry to create one massive hypnotic sound explosion. Indebted to the UK jazz scene, Tallulah and her music borrow inspiration from the likes of Jordan Rakei, Robert Glasper, Lianne La Havas and Shabaka Hutchings, interweaving the genres of neo-soul, jazz, hip hop, funk and African music.


Sunday 12 February @ De Doelen

Get your day off to a lazy start over a lovely breakfast and the most beautiful music. Savour your time alone or together this Sunday morning with a musical breakfast composed by members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.


Friday 10 February @ TR Schouwburg, Rotterdam

Try Not To Know What You Know is an extraordinary theatrical performance in which Merel Severs and Milou van Duijnhoven square off in a homemade arena to explore the dichotomous longing and aversion for heroism. Playing with martial arts, destruction, creation and everything in between, they struggle for liberation from the conditioned body and primacy of violence over connection.


Friday 10 & 17 February @ De Doelen Studio

Syrian chef Maher Al Sabbagh is back with another delicious buffet! Maher is an established name in Rotterdam’s cultural and culinary scene, whose gustatory arts have been surprising and delighting diners for years. This time, enjoy his international dishes in the special ambiance of the Doelen Studio.


Friday 17 February to Sunday 12 March

@ Jeugdtheater Hofplein

Join director Iris Heusschen and her actors in a voyage of discovery through the world of drag. A provocative production with a showy edge, but also with personal moments and profound encounters, Kings & Queens is a theatrical ode to being yourself in full technicolour.

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PHOTOGRAPHY Bastiaan de Haas
8 TEXT Romy Lange & Céline Boute PHOTOGRAPHY Bastiaan de Haas


Step outside Rotterdam Central Station and one of the first things you see is the iconic Millennium Tower. How about ditching those drab old conference rooms and holding your next meeting fully catered high up in that skyscraper? Tuesday is powered by a young team committed to making every meeting a stellar experience. Martine Lekkerkerker and Marischka de Knoop are part of that team, taking care of every detail to ensure meetings go off without a hitch. From the 23rd floor, with views stretching across the city as far as The Hague and Utrecht, your Tuesday meeting is guaranteed to be unforgettable.

Martine Lekkerkerker and Marischka de Knoop


Martine: “Research shows that meetings occupy a big chunk of working hours. The pandemic changed the way we work, as many people had to produce from home. That also made meetings more of a distinct event. Tuesday responds to that, arranging meetings that are fun and enjoyable, easy and worthwhile.”

Marischka: “Depending on the style of meeting, we offer a number of packages. We have a variety of rooms – one with no table, for example, to bring people closer together – as well as creative ingredients like games, hourglasses and the location itself. We also cater to both brain and body, kick-starting the day with a ginger shot, or with a brainfood lunch package featuring delicious salads or a nut bar.”


Martine: “Tuesday is the best day to hold a meeting. It’s typically the day that most people are at the office. And it’s the perfect day of the week: not straight after the weekend, but still early in the week when energy levels are high. Here, every day is Tuesday, so it’s always a good day to get together.”


Marischka: “The hourglasses are very popular. Meetings can easily feel drawn-out and dull, and this is a super simple way to press reset. Setting a time limit breaks topics up and keeps people focused. This gadget gets a lot of mileage, especially in creative meetings to keep things spontaneous and interesting. It also sparks moments of humour that are very valuable for teams. But equally, I think it’s just hugely important to change things up by coming here for new stimuli and fresh inspiration.”

Martine: “Each item serves a specific purpose, and with the background information we provide, they are always well-received. Slow coffee, for example, offers a calm moment to power up before a meeting. Beyond that, Tuesday’s biggest trump card is that we also offer catering this high up. In Rotterdam, that’s pretty unique. It’s a place where you can combine a meeting with drinks afterwards. That adds a personal dimension, so people can chat outside the confines of a formal discussion.”


Martine: “The fact that it combines a professional orientation with a playful touch to make meetings special and creative. And the bottom line is that what we do genuinely makes gatherings more productive.”

Marischka: “The dynamic environment makes the work a lot of fun. No two days are the same, and that also makes our teamwork very important. We’re a young company and concerned with current issues such as sustainability: separating waste, working with local partners and investing in beautiful durable materials that will last for years to come.”




Favourite spot in RCD: Besides Tuesday, of course, I think De Doelen is an amazing spot for a lunchtime concert.

Hobbies: Cycling.



Favourite spot in RCD: Of course, I love Tuesday’s location on the 23rd floor of the Milleniumtower. I can’t get enough of the view I get to enjoy every day. Hobbies: Travel and going out having fun with friends.

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Martine Lekkerkerker and Marischka de Knoop


There’s no lack of urban renewal and development in Rotterdam Central District. On this page, we keep you up to date with the most important news about the place you work, live or come to visit.


Reconstruction-era buildings and the future planned new construction in the Schiekadeblok form a single large block around lively, green Delftsehof. These Reconstruction-era buildings are important in defining the area’s raw character, both in style and use. Last November, the city, which owns Delftsestraat 21-33 and Delftseplein 38-39, initiated a procedure to sell these properties.

As part of the valuable cultural and historical ensemble that make up this stretch of Delftsestraat, the city is looking for a suitable market party to buy and renovate this ensemble as a whole while preserving the original Reconstruction architecture. In terms of programming, the city wishes to sustain the existing creative innovative ecosystem and continue accommodating the businesses and entrepreneurs already based here.

To give all interested parties an opportunity to bid, the city will hold a market selection. An open preselection will narrow the field down to three suitable market parties, to be followed by the submission phase and selection of a new owner.

For more information, see: www.molenaarbedrijfshuisvesting.nl

Who were the architects of the Reconstruction-era buildings on Delftsestraat? It says so right on the buildings. The city commissioned LG Architecten to add the architects’ names to the buildings, making them feel less anonymous. Street art by Calvin Spraque in Delftsestraat
13 R C D M A G A Z I N E TEXT Céline Boute
© Eric Fecken


Sustainability is a topic that can no longer be ignored, including here in Rotterdam Central District. And with good reason: many local companies are making sustainability a top priority, and it is a major and growing concern for people living and working in the area as well. We set out to ask people on the streets about the role sustainability plays in their lives. How would you respond if your friends or colleagues started offering sustainability pointers? Or if your employer forced you to turn the thermostat down to no more than 18 degrees?


“To be honest, I think it would be brilliant if my colleagues offered pointers on how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle by letting me know there are things I could do differently or point out more conscientious choices I could be making in certain areas. Fortunately, we’re all very open with each other at my office, so that actually happens. It’s not a topic we avoid and we feel free to discuss it openly and honestly.”


“I’m definitely conscious of sustainability in a bunch of ways. For one thing, we eat less meat at home. I generally also like meat substitutes better than real meat, and I love the fact that it’s becoming easier all the time to eat vegetarian. It’s good that it is being normalized and that meat substitutes are as easily available at the supermarket as real meat. For the rest, if I need to go anywhere I usually take the bike or train. I don’t mind biking anyway, and if it makes me environmentally-friendly, that’s a nice bonus.”


“I’m always trying to be actively sustainable in some way. Like when I go to the supermarket, I often look at how a product was made and I try to buy organic if I can. I love chocolate and I know it’s hard for farmers these days, so I take extra care to check if products are fair for farmers. I am totally okay with paying more for something that is better for the world. Sustainability really means a lot to me.”

Sophia Etmans
PHOTOGRAPHY Bastiaan de Haas


“I would love it if the office thermostat weren’t allowed to go higher than 18 degrees. It’s always too hot for me. I’ve got a coat on now, but I’m only wearing a short-sleeve T-shirt underneath. Even on a winter day like this! I do talk about the environment with my friends and family sometimes, but more about things like public transport and how we generate power, and what’s the most environmentally-friendly option.”


“At home, I separate my waste as much as possible. I live in a pretty big household and we all do what we can. We are all bartenders, so we’re very careful about our food and fruit. In terms of food, we are super sustainable. We separate paper, too. We could do better on conserving water and textiles, but we’re taking it one step at a time.”


“If we weren’t allowed to turn the heating higher than 18 at school, that would honestly feel pretty cold to me. I wouldn’t like it, but I know we have to be conscious and everyone has to do their part. Given the choice, I’d rather not – but if we’ve got to, okay. At school right now it doesn’t feel like that at all, though, I’d say more like 40 degrees in the classrooms!”


S: “We do talk about sustainability a lot, both with friends and family. For me, it’s mostly about vegetarian and vegan food and the impact that has towards living sustainably.”

L: “And also shopping for clothes. So, do I buy second-hand or new? What difference will it make? With clothes, it’s mostly about practicality for me, so the question is: do I really need it and does it need to be new? I think about sustainability, but it’s also self-interest. And sure, if I fall in love with something, I will buy it new. But I tend to think second-hand or vintage are good alternatives.”

S: “If I really need something, I’ll just buy it, but sometimes second-hand is even nicer. Hunting for that cool item is also a whole adventure in itself and definitely worth it, haha.”

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Though he left several times, professional artist Albert Kramer always found himself back in Holland’s port city, ultimately for good. Now, he and his wife have been living “at the centre of the world” for over forty years, with whatever their hearts desire around the corner, in a neighbourhood that is an oasis of tranquillity.


“I was born in 1954 in Rotterdam Zuid, in the Charlois district, where I lived until the age of twelve. Then there was an economic downturn in the Netherlands and my dad decided to close down his sewing machine shop to become a swimming instructor in Dreumel, in the Meuse and Waal river region. But after three years we had to go back to the city and wound up on Wolphaertsbocht. After studying in Apeldoorn I decided to come back to Rotterdam, where I met my wife. Now we’ve been living in this lovely spot for forty years.”


“Above all, the fact that there’s nothing here. Although, there is a lot in the immediate vicinity: the supermarket diagonally opposite, a small community theatre, and Centraal Station is also nearby. It’s really the centre of the world. The neighbourhood is quiet, but the community itself is very active. Initiatives are taken up and followed through. I’m part of our living environment group, which is about art and vegetation in the neighbourhood. We’re also involved culturally. Any time the local theatre, Het Kapelletje, calls for extras, we’re all ready to go.”


“If we walk through the tunnel we come right out into the thick of things at the other end. I love swimming and in Van Maanenstraat there’s a good place for that. I also like doing yoga or track and field activities some afternoons. Everything is outside our neighbourhood, but still around the corner. And I’m a member of the choir at our communi -

ty centre, De Waerschut. That’s great fun, getting together to sing and trade the latest news. Walking the dog along the canals is always beautiful, too.”


“There are some issues, like the lack of upkeep that needs more attention. But I think you get that sort of issues anywhere. On the whole, I am a very contented resident. You can walk around safely. Thankfully, the days of Perron 0 [an area notorious for drug use in the 1980s and 90s, ed.] are behind us. And there’s no street racing anymore either since this was turned into a one-way road and 30-kilometre zone.”


“These developments are positive in some cases and not in others. The idea to build a big tower right behind the station would have blocked all the sunlight in our neighbourhood. We all banded together to fight that, and won. They built a school instead, which is good.”


“I earn my living making fine art for public areas. They are synthetic polyester sculptures like my Papekiet [hybrid parrot and parakeet, ed.] between two buildings. You can also see my rose windows in Jacob Loisstraat. And I’ve painted murals at Het Kapelletje and other places with people from the neighbourhood.”

16 TEXT Céline Boute PHOTOGRAPHY Marjolijn Tenge


Hobbies: Swimming in open water, walking the dog and singing.

Favourite spot at home: We recently moved the living room to the back of the house. It’s a nice quite spot where we can relax with the doors open. And our rooftop terrace is wonderful.

Favourite spot in RCD: The track, the swimming pool and the community centre (De Waerschut).

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18 ARE YOU READY FOR A BETTER MEETING? MEETTUESDAY.COM Weena 690, 3012 CN Rotterdam Millenium Tower - 23e etage 010 268 7120 hello@meettuesday.com BEKIJK ONZE VERGADERRUIMTES! LET’S MEET BETTER.


A city within a city, conceived to inspire and to spark creativity: welcome to Microlab. After a successful start at its first location in Eindhoven, a year and a half ago the flexible workspace provider made the leap to a second site in Rotterdam. Great news for anyone looking for a comfortable, flexible and affordable coworking and office space in Holland’s port city. Elsemieke Beuk is Microlab’s Rotterdam location manager and offered to give us a tour of their six-storey business community.

“Microlab is really a platform where everyone can pursue their ambitions”, Elsemieke sums up as we look around their inspiring spaces. “Whether you’ve just set up a business and are taking your first steps or are starting with a small team but want the flexibility to grow as needed, you’ll find an option that fits here.” With 500 members and counting, Rotterdam Microlab is growing rapidly. Which makes it all the more important to create a community in the truest sense of the word, Elsemieke underscores. “Partly, it’s about how we arrange each floor, but we also organize activities reflecting this city’s cultural and creative personality.” That includes everything from event partnerships with Art Week Rotterdam and Dakendagen, where Microlab looks for ways to contribute and offer a showcase, to casual Thursday and Friday afternoon drinks. They even have a small golfing course and basketball room, which draw a diverse group of tenants.


“We make every effort to foster connections within our community”, Elsemieke says with clear enthusiasm. “Ideally, we want it to be a reflection of the whole entrepreneurial climate. It’s brilliant to see how freelancers, foundations and businesses large and small all come together here.” One of the spaces in Microlab’s community is one they offer free of charge for social initiatives, and it’s located right next to a law firm. “It just goes to show how there’s a fantastic blend of people here. It’s easy to keep orbiting inside your own sector or cluster, yet it can be so enriching to connect with like-minded people outside that bubble. We believe it challenges people in positives ways and can lend new insights. At Microlab, that’s how we stimulate our community to come together and have a real and positive impact on each other.”

Microlab • Aert van Nesstraat 45 • 3012 CA Rotterdam • www.microlab.nl
Elsemieke Beuk
19 R C D M A G A Z I N E TEXT Romy Lange & Tessa Burger PHOTOGRAPHY Bastiaan de Haas


Looking for a low-key way to connect female entrepreneurs in the Rotterdam Central District, Joyce Kornet-Vreugdenhill, general manager of CIC Rotterdam, joined forces with Annwa Roleau, founder of the tech firm Lox Solution, to organize a quarterly Women in Tech brunch. “We were struck by the ongoing under-representation of female leadership in the sector”, Joyce explains. “It’s amazing to organize an event to get them all together, in a trusted and familiar setting, to share experiences and throw around ideas.” The female founders are all at the helm of fast-growing tech firms and talented teams, and each have their own set of ambitions and challenges at their companies. We’re pleased to introduce you to these female executives and their booming businesses!


“Tired of all the countless hours of swiping and chatting on Tinder, we decided it was time for a dating app designed for actual dates. That became Breeze! If you get a match on Breeze, you can’t chat with each other. Instead, you fill in a date picker and then we organize your first date at one of our partner bars in your chosen city. This way, you skip the online chitchat and go straight to meeting each other face to face! We have organized over fifty thousand Breeze dates so far and are growing fast in the Netherlands. We have plans to expand abroad this coming year, so stay tuned…!”


“Please ask m is the new SaaS software for the B2B hotel market. m helps to process, centralize and automate business requests, enabling hotels to focus on what really matters: their guest experience. We – Christel and Terry – are the co-founders of this start-up specialized in creating innovative software solutions for the hospitality industry. Christel has always been passionate about technology and its potential to solve problems and make life easier. Despite not having a background in computer science, with determination and hard work, she taught herself the skills to become a key player in the development of our company’s product. Terry joined Please ask m in 2020 as its first employee, after a few years freelancing in the hospitality industry. It is very inspiring to be women in tech and we hope to encourage others to work in this dynamic world!”

20 TEXT Tessa Burger


“Minite.works was founded by us, two sisters, Linky and Micky, and is a digital platform that links companies to top students vetted by us to work for them on a freelance basis. We cover marketing, sales, ICT, research and design through to finance and accounting. We operate on the principle of ‘no cure, no pay’ and work exclusively with top-performers –the top twenty per cent of students – to guarantee quality. Minite’s mission is two-pronged: on one hand we help companies grow and put them in touch with top young talent, and on the other we help students build up a strong CV, hone their skills and meet prospective employers. We collaborate a lot with universities and are growing rapidly. With more than 9,000 students already, we are well on our way to our objective of 100,000 talented students by 2025!”


“I am the co-founder and chief commercial officer of Lox, an AI-based solution that helps e-commerce companies manage delivery issues. Lox was founded in 2020 and is a spin-off of Helloprint. Launched during COVID time, Lox supports more than 100,000 e-commerce companies across Europe. In the coming year, we are planning to scale the product, grow our customer base and build the team. Our ambition as a SaaS product is to become the touchstone in Europe for delivery issue management. Lox is therefore investing heavily in its tech stock. If you are looking for a new adventure, feel free to reach out!”


“After a death, Closure helps the bereaved by terminating all of the deceased’s subscriptions and contracts for them. This way, we eliminate the customer service workload related to handling an organization’s deceased customers and enable them to offer an excellent customer experience. Having experienced how greatly we can support both organizations and families after a passing, we are on a mission to provide customer care solutions for other key moments in life as well, such as debt restructuring, marriage and divorce.”

Want to read more about Closure and their ambitions? Flip over to page 45!

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“Flat roofs themselveslend to any number of uses”

22 TEXT Ramon Holle PHOTOGRAPHY Bastiaan de



Just a few steps from the bustle of Schiekade and the railway tracks to Rotterdam Centraal lies a verdant oasis of peace and tranquillity. Here, atop the Schieblock, is an 1,000 m2 rooftop farm. DakAkker is the largest open-air rooftop farm in the Netherlands, and was even the first of its kind in Europe when it was laid out ten years ago by the architectural firm ZUS and the city environmental centre, Rotterdams Milieucentrum. Now, people interested in this form of urban agriculture, architecture and climate adaptation are coming to admire it from far and wide.

The rooftop acreage is used to cultivate fruit, vegetables and edible flowers, as well as raise chickens and keep worms and bees. Wouter Bauman, a nature and public space advisor with the Rotterdams Milieucentrum, is also the rooftop farmer and tends the garden with a passionate team of volunteers. “The volunteers come every Friday, so that’s when we get the real work done”, he says. “In springtime and summer I’m here five or six days a week. Right now, DakAkker is hibernating, so there’s less to do. I mainly go to take care of the chickens. Our volunteers get their eggs.”


Conditions on the roof are comparable to a Mediterranean climate, with arid, rocky soil and lots of wind and sun. This makes it ideal for growing herbs such as mint, lemon verbena and lavender, alongside root vegetables like Jerusalem artichoke, beetroot, carrots and radish. There are also alliums including onions, leeks and garlic, and strong performers such as raspberry, rhubarb and pumpkin. The harvest is sold on-site. A big favourite are the edible flowers, which they also supply to several local restaurants. “Not only as garnish, also for flavour”, Wouter notes. “They’re great in sauces.”

Another feature are the worm hotels. They produce what’s known as ‘worm tea’, a type of fertilizer that’s used on the roof and also sold under the name ‘Rotterdam Watershit’.

You can score your own at the urban farm shop Stek. Small disclaimer: this tea is not for human consumption. However, your crops and other plants will love it!


If all this wasn’t impressive enough, the rooftop is also a water capture test site. The ‘smart roof’ retains water using a smart-flow control system regulated by the weather forecast. If heavy downpours are predicted, the system responds by freeing up extra water-retention capacity. This constitutes a major advance in climate adaptation. DakAkker also has an educational programme to teach primary school pupils about urban farming, green rooftops, climate, water, healthy food and bees, which is offered during and after the summer holiday period.

Clearly, this is a roof with many functions. And, if you ask Wouter, it’s a model begging to be applied on a larger scale. “Dutch cities have so many flat roofs, let’s capitalize on that”, he concludes.

If you’d like to see this extraordinary spot for yourself, visitors are more than welcome. DakAkker offers tours for groups of up to thirty people. Proceeds from rooftop produce and tours help support the maintenance and management of DakAkker.

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SHARE YOUR VIEW ON #RCD #RCD ONLINE @jeremy.g.photography @fotos_van_nicole @peternicolaaszaal @centraldistrict Rotterdam Central District /rotterdamcentraldistrict / vrcd @rotterdam.rijker @ anneliestheissen @floortjepijpers @martijnvanveelen @casvuijk_picture @jvk.photo @dvanspaendonck @yellowwolffff @skievitgraphy 24


This city is sizzling with all kinds of hotspots. In the Central District, too, there are loads of colourful, delicious and fun places to go. For this issue we’ve lined up three unique places that are well worth a visit, each with its own story and style.


Trattoria a Proposito is authentic Italian fare at its very best, fresh from mamma’s kitchen! Run by an Italian family for twenty years, you’ll find the restaurant in Delftse Poort, right next to the train station.


JAQ is a top spot to stop for lunch or dinner. Can’t choose? No problem! JAQ is all about shared dining, so you can sample it all. The chefs are devoted to pure flavours and fair sourcing. Got something to celebrate? JAQ also offers private dining options.


Square ‘47 caters to every appetite. Whether you want to splash out for champagne, oysters, lobster, sushi or steak encrusted in 24 carat gold leaf or are craving a hamburger or latenight snack. The restaurant is intimate and luxurious and features a stunning glass display case filled with wine and champagne.


010 213 23 34 WEENA 505 25 R C D M A G A Z I N E TEXT Sophia Etmans


Delftsestraat 25

Rotterdam has always been bursting with young and diverse talent. The city boasts a wealth of different scenes and there are gems to be uncovered in every one. Nieuwe Lichting realized that back in 2010. With a high-octane DIY mentality and no long-term schedules, the platform organizes a variety of festivals, projects and more.

Looking for a place to hold your next business meeting? Tuesday offers a truly high-end setting on the 23rd floor, with an inspiring interior, modern rooms, an excellent location and services tailored to your needs. At Tuesday, you’ll find everything to make your next conference, meeting or training fun as well as productive.

Looking for a spot to work in the heart of Rotterdam, but don’t know for how long you’ll need it and want to keep your options open? Microlab offers flexible workspaces in a setting designed to connect and inspire. And they take care of all the details. With hospitality teams offering a wide range of services, you’re free to focus fully on your work and enjoy doing what matters to you.

MICROLAB Aert van Nesstraat 45 TUESDAY Weena 690

Eduard Voorn is a freelance journalist with a focus on economics, and first and foremost a Rotterdammer. He lives in the villagey outskirts of Rotterdam Central District, eats his pizza at BIRD, raises a pint at Biergarten or Weena, gets his caffeine fix at Lebkov, catches the latest flicks in Pathé Schouwburgplein and sees Scapino at Theater Rotterdam. His kids were born in the nowfamous Mecanoo architectural firm’s first project on Kruisplein.


I am anti violence, but pro parties. On the first of December last year, I was looking down at Kruisplein from one of the uppermost floors of the Millennium Tower. A jubilant crowd was celebrating the Moroccan football team’s win and progression to the next round of the World Cup play-offs. How wonderful it was to see this public space, otherwise dominated by cars and trams, being used for a party. Later that evening, sadly, things went pear-shaped and the police had to intervene.

Early one morning a month later, I was walking through the Rotterdam Central District, inaugurating 2023. I made a circuit of the clubs that could reopen to celebrate the new year. To refresh your memory: this time last year, the Netherlands was still in a ‘hard lockdown’. There were queues outside Perron and Toffler and there were lively crowds at Biergarten, BIRD and Mono. Bars and nightclubs were taking their responsibility seriously.

How do we hold onto that vibrancy – peacefully – in a landscape that for the rest is dominated by anonymous office blocks and lacklustre frontage? By this I mean the shop window displays, front doors of homes and the hotel and restaurant lobbies at street level. Good frontage lends streets a nice ambiance, making them pleasant to stroll through. It’s clear to anyone that RCD is doing rather poorly on this score, worse even than East Berlin before the Wall came down, with the biggest offenders being the car park entryways and exits on Delftseplein and Delftsestraat.

To inject the colour and energy RCD so urgently needs calls for the intervention of a ‘frontage and night mayor’. These people exist. Take Thys Boer and Tony Wijntuin, both familiar names hereabouts. As the founder of N8W8 Rotterdam, Thys – who last spring graced the cover of RCD Magazine – is a strong contender for future city night mayor. N8W8 is an independent council for city nightlife that’s campaigning under the catchy slogan ‘No Day without Night’ for good, open and accessible nightlife throughout Rotterdam, including in RCD. I would urge: precisely in RCD. Tony was a speaker on 1 December last year on one of the topmost floors of the Millennium Tower. Currently, he is doing a study on how we can enliven the frontage in this area.

I propose that these two put their heads together, with reinforcement from powerhouse Nina Hooimeijer, the driving force behind BIRD. After all, three know more than two, and this former Rotterdam businesswoman of the year can be our deal-maker. This trio won’t have an easy job, but maybe a good slogan will get the ball rolling. Got a catchy one-liner?

27 R C D M A G A Z I N E PHOTOGRAPHY Ralf Emmerich


28 TEXT Romy Lange & Tessa Burger PHOTOGRAPHY Marjolijn Tenge
Hugo Jonkman & Michael Blokland

Hugo Jonkman joined CBRE as city leader of their multidisciplinary regional Rotterdam office late last year. Though still relatively new to the company, he has been working in the real estate world for years now. Michael Blokland, by contrast, is an associate director who has been with CBRE for many years. Hugo, Michael and the rest of their team combine the knowledge needed to give clients the best advice. So, what’s their take on the office property market in Rotterdam, present and future?

“Last year was quite a good one for the office property market. There was a large amount of local activity driven by local parties”, Hugo says. “The office property landscape is actually in really good shape in Rotterdam. Space is at a premium because it’s limited and in high demand, particularly in the Central District, but everyone manages to find a good spot for themselves in the end.” Both men think this trend will hold in the period ahead.

“We expect to start seeing movement among the big corporates this year as they’re more motivated than ever to make good on their sustainable ambitions”, Hugo continues. The question, Michael adds, is where they’ll go and what they’ll want.

“We’re noticing that tenants are attaching many more conditions to real estate than ever before. Not only the construction process of a building has to be sustainable, but its performance and CO2 impact, too.”


All of which means clients are now turning to CBRE for advice on more than merely where and when offices will be available to move in. “We’re being asked to advise on all facets”, Michael confirms.

“Which is excellent, because we can answer all

those questions.” Believe it or not, he says, sustainability has become an even bigger priority than it was a year or so ago. “Partly because property owners have to hold a minimum ‘C’ energy label rating as of this year, but also because of the soaring energy prices. We are getting many more questions about that and advising lots of clients on how to best approach it.”


Which current buildings do Hugo and Michael think are getting it right? Both point to Delftse Poort as the embodiment of everything a building should strive for in terms of quality, concept and structural layout. “The whole thing is just really well thought out”, Hugo says. “It’s not just an office, but an entire concept with informal places to congregate, leisure spaces, meeting options and a restaurant and coffee bar. You name it, they’ve got it. It’s so much more than just a place to work.” Which explains the popularity of this building and others like it. “We’ll be seeing many more office spaces like this in future”, Michael predicts. “The most concrete examples catering to this market are AIR Offices at the old V&D and Hudson Bay premises, which offer precisely what tenants want.” The downside, Hugo says, is that “it will take a while before these and other comparable properties are completed, so in the coming year we’ll be doing a lot of shuffling and reshuffling to make things fit. Which is fun, but also a big job.”


It all comes down to the fact that office properties in and near Rotterdam Central District are in high demand, and although the rest of the city and surrounding region have plenty of space with excellent potential, Hugo says outlying areas just don’t seem to fit the bill. “They don’t exert the same pull as places in the city centre. Amenities and access are a huge part of it, but, to be totally honest: this area is nearly well full. You can tell because rents are shooting up. For businesses, this is just the place to be. Because of the innovation here and the connectivity, and all the opportunities RCD has to offer.”

29 R C D M A G A Z I N E


In school the period right before an exam is by far the most stressful. Procrastination and studying the entire syllabus the week before the exam remains a popular strategy. This might not be the best way to learn, as you retain little of what you’ve studied. After all, how much do you remember about cell division or statistics? How long did you retain the information learnt when you were a teen?

Certificates resemble this strategy. It’s a test of one moment in time that requires everything to come together once but leaves room for forgetfulness afterwards. This doesn’t mean a certificate is a bad thing. On the contrary, certificates such as BREEAM and WELL have had a tremendously positive impact by motivating owners to create more sustainable real estate. These types of certificate allow you to

compare properties, improve them in a scientifically backed manner and make it easier for owners and building users to find something that suits their strategy.

However, a certified building can still be used in a very unsustainable way. Let’s take the sustainable procurement policies from BREEAM as an example.

In practice, after two years of certification the tenants might have changed suppliers, or the supplier might have lost their own certificate due to budget restraints, or a new person in charge of procurement hasn’t seen that policy. There are all sorts of reasons why it is very difficult to ensure that the original idea behind the certificate is kept in place. And if no one is monitoring it, there’s really no consequence to it either.

More technical measures such as the energy requirements associated with BREEAM ensure that the building can perform very sustainably, with local energy supply through heat pumps, solar panels and mitigated loss of energy through insulation. Once again, this doesn’t mean the building can’t be used unsustainably if the tenants choose to do so.

30 AUTHOR: Iris Kampers, ESG Advisor at real estate advisor Savills

Our property managers are increasingly requested to analyse the actual sustainable performance of the buildings they manage. One interesting aspect of the results is that usually, the labels and certificates portray a better picture than the consumption data, or interviews with tenants and users of a building, does. Quite often we inspect buildings where we find the lights burning unnecessarily in certain areas, usually storage spaces, and people still tend to overrule energy-efficient settings on the thermostat to accommodate their personal preferences.

Why, if research shows tenants are actively seeking out sustainable properties, do these properties perform less favourably than their design indicates?

It seems in the same way that people tend to forget all about mitosis after having passed their exam, a certificate that states you are in fact, sustainable, means that you feel you’ve achieved what you had to and can now focus on something else. Although certificates provide a good starting point, true sustainable conduct requires continuous monitoring and improvement. Therefore, a clear collaboration is needed between the tenant and the landlord to ensure that a sustainably designed building is also used sustainably – and thereby remains sustainable. If the tenant has different requirements than what the building was designed for, this can be challenging. At the same time the developer cannot design the building too specifically for one single tenant as this might rule out other tenants in the future.

This is why sustainability experts and building owners are becoming increasingly critical of certificates. Rather than looking for a certain logo, we see several clients creating their own metrics against which properties will be audited, tailored more towards the actual performance rather than the momentary capture when the building was opened. It’s encouraging to see that in addition to ESG certificates, we are also seeing a growing use of green and blue leases.

2023 will be the first year countries have to show their progress against the Paris Agreement. Our advice is that you look further than labels when preparing for your audits. Investing in tangible improvements will not go unnoticed in the coming war for tenants.

31 R C D M A G A Z I N E
© Guido Pijper © Guido Pijper


It’s no secret that a pleasant working environment boosts employee motivation and satisfaction. Still, crafting just the right setting is often easier said than done. Swisscom, a Swiss telecommunications company with a dedicated DevOps division in World Trade Center Rotterdam, approached it by appointing two community managers. Laura Salm and Anouk Verharen are wholly devoted to creating a positive atmosphere within a large team of employees. Because, with an international community spanning many different nationalities, they want to make sure everyone feels ‘at home’.

SWISSCOM 32 TEXT Romy Lange & Tessa Burger PHOTOGRAPHY
Anouk Verharen & Laura Salm

“I myself am Swiss”, Laura says with a touch of patriotic pride from the company’s WTC Rotterdam office. So far, she’s also the only employee working in the Rotterdam department with roots in the company’s home turf. But there are plenty of other nationalities: fifty in all among the more than three hundred people who work at the Rotterdam office. “The company’s international character and our ideal location make us a magnet for this talent”, Anouk observes, “which is exactly what makes it so important to work hard to build a community. There are people who basically uproot their whole lives to come work for us and move here. That was also the impetus for our positions, to make sure everyone will genuinely feel at home here.”


The two community managers tackle that by organizing events, setting up internship programmes and offering a listening ear. They also take charge of making the office a nice and comfortable place to work, Anouk explains. “For a lot of our employees, this office is so much more than that. It’s also a place to socialize. Often, it’s the first place where they get to know other people.” According to Anouk, that’s also why Swisscom and its team feel so at home in WTC Rotterdam. “This location, in the centre of all the action in Rotterdam, is amazing. Add to that the building’s great facilities and the stunning view way out across the city – all that’s left is to build a strong community.” As well as introducing some Swiss culture, the two mainly work to foster authentic Swisscom values. That is, “trustworthiness, commitment and curiosity”, Laura sums up. “We build on that by encouraging people to carve out a space for their own culture within the company. For example, we make a point of marking almost every holiday – from Sinterklaas to Divali to the end of Ramadan – and that absolutely makes a difference to how welcomed people feel.”


Laura and Anouk’s most popular event has to be their Culture Lunches, which spotlight a different culture each month. “Almost everyone gathers to taste the food and learn from each other”, Anouk says with a sense of pride. “It just goes to show how food connects us all.” And, adds Laura, “we are also discovering that this approach, where community building is wholly separate to HR, works really well. We’ve found a recipe to help employees feel at home, and it’s wonderful that Swisscom took that extra step to make it possible and give our team a sense of belonging.”


Headquartered in Ittigen, Swisscom is Switzerland’s leading telecom company and one of its leading IT companies. They offer mobile telecommunications, fixed network, internet and digital TV solutions for businesses and residential customers. As a technology leader and innovation pioneer, Swisscom have focused on sustainability for years now, and these considerations have been part of their corporate decision-making since the company’s inception. Their Rotterdam office was recently awarded a BREEAM Certificate and holds a green lease with WTC Rotterdam. Swisscom is also working hard to become a hundred percent climate neutral and, together with their customers, are saving an additional one million tonnes of CO2 every year.


D&B unites sustainability for people and planet

34 TEXT Romy Lange & Céline Boute PHOTOGRAPHY Bastiaan
Michel Pan de

Recent years have thrown up some massive challenges for many businesses, forcing organizations to continually adapt and stay flexible in their operations. Michel Pan, director of business strategy and development at D&B The Facility Group, tackles the questions this raises every day. Questions like: who do we want to be, how do we want to operate in the marketplace, and who are the customers we aim to serve? The answers draw together a whole host of topics spanning the labour market, technology, competition, clients and activities. “These topics are packaged in projects that both ensure long-term sustainability in terms of reaching business goals and keep everyone motivated to contribute”, Michel says.


As a company focused on the Dutch Randstad region and on the specific niche market of ambitious corporates in the high-end property sector, D&B sees sustainability as a concept with multiple dimensions. First and foremost are the two Ps: people and planet. Another essential goal is maintaining a sound and flexible strategy. According to Michel, the crux of D&B’s service philosophy is a precise understanding of how the world is changing. For companies, far-reaching developments call for far-reaching flexibility, Michel explains. “During the pandemic we made some extreme adjustments, resulting in a 30 per cent revenue loss. But that also earned us the trust of many clients, and so as the market recovered, we regained 35 per cent. As an example, we came up with a new hospitality concept called ‘Loaf’ for offices just opening up, combining a reception desk service with an informal, healthy lunch concept. That’s a gap in the market we discovered in the midst of the crisis.” By maintaining a dialogue with clients and not being afraid to change and roll out

service concepts like these, D&B has managed to stay both sharp and sustainable as a service enterprise.


If you want to the be the best in the business for clients, you need happy employees, and that’s where D&B makes the difference. Michel and his team routinely conduct satisfaction surveys among staff. “We’re a truly diverse organization, with six different service divisions and a mix of generations. Frequent surveys are key for getting a picture of roughly what each group needs for their employability and performance. Needs and wants vary widely between groups. Being genuinely attentive to our employees is a top priority, in HR but even more so in daily operations. People strongly value the guidance and supervision they get.” Sustainability for the planet is already integrated across all of D&B’s services. Cooks in company restaurants are free to devise their own menus and keep their carbon impact as low as possible. In the mobility division, which offers valet parking and chauffeur services, the company has developed an app that incentiviz-

es employees to drive as economically and efficiently as possible. Those who score highest drive the nicest vehicles and get a year-end bonus. D&B’s cleaning services have been working with the cleanest products for years.

“We’re striving to reduce our footprint by 25 per cent within the next three years. My wish is for sustainability to become a criterion in procurements. You can already show the effects of each service category in detail. I’m not seeing that reflected in procurement processes yet, but it could be. There’s an awareness within corporates, for sure, but it’s not ingrained yet. That’s what we need to aim for.”


In practice, many organizations are finding it a struggle to meet the C energy label rating requirement for office properties. Although the hard dimension of energy is not a service as such and so falls outside D&B’s portfolio, Michel says he nevertheless noticed an opening for their facility management division. “Clients who lease premises often need advice on how to use their space efficiently. We are launching a partnership with TPEX that will let us use building data to advise clients on their operations, and vice versa. To me, the great thing about D&B is that we’ve got the speed and the spirit to make the most of new opportunities. And if you fail, well, that’s okay too, because it’s how you progress as a business.”

BUSINESS IN THE SPOTLIGHT D&B The Facility Group Gondel 1 1186 MJ Amstelveen www.db.nl
35 R C D M A G A Z I N E



We aren’t going to argue with our clients. For over 15 years we’ve been helping them out with everything related to design or communication. Websites, logos, business cards or complete branding cases. No matter what you throw at us, we will make sure it gets done the right way. On time. Within budget. We promise.



Located just a stone’s throw from Rotterdam Centraal Station, lies an international university providing high level professional arts education in music, dance and circus arts. This university called Codarts draws talented students from around the globe to Rotterdam to pursue one and the same dream: to make it as professional artists in creative disciplines they are passionate about.

Codarts enrols over 1,000 students, representing some 65 nationalities, and offers programmes in dance, circus, theatre and classical, jazz, pop and world music. Wellknown Dutch alumni include actress Noortje Herlaar, presenter and dancer Jan Kooijman’ and singer Froukje.


Promising dancers, musicians and circus performers are trained as artists, leaders and coaches who go on to careers around the world. Programmes emphasize physical alongside mental health, and everything students learn is immediately applied hands-on in projects, performances and concerts. Codarts also regularly welcomes international scouts. It partners with countless local, national and international organizations to showcase students’ talent beyond the university walls.

“Codarts has a unique character and so do its students. Having so many different artistic disciplines in one university, and such a wide variety of cultures, makes studying at Codarts a very enriching process, both as an artist and as a person”, says Mikel Fernández, orchestral conductor and Classical Music alumnus.

37 R C D M A G A Z I N E TEXT Ramon Holle

Time is the new space: nieuw nachthonk in het ten dode opgeschreven Schieblock

Het is een gure herfstavond, regen en wind teisteren de Schiekade en het bijbehorende Block. Toch is het druk op de uiterste hoek van het gebouwencomplex. Voor de deur van het recent geopende Time is the new space (TITNS) staat een groepje mensen tussen de paarse basilicumplantjes te praten en te roken. Op de plek waar ooit de keuken van Biergarten was (toen een expositieruimte werd, daarna een podcastruimte van online radiostation Operator werd en verstofte tot opslagplaats), groeit nu een bloemetje uit het harde beton. TITNS bundelde het verleden van de locatie samen en doet dienst als ruimte voor podcasts, exposities, clubavonden, workshops en lezingen. Handig, als deel van de Biergarten heeft TITNS dezelfde horecavergunning als het terras.Daarom was het voor oprichter Wouter Marselje relatief makkelijk om een nieuwe plek op te zetten. Zeker in het Schieblock is dat niet simpel.

Het is ook een bijzondere ontwikkeling, net op het moment dat je denkt dat de nachtcultuur van het Schie(kade) block ten onder gaat aan hoge flats en lege kantoorpanden, is er TITNS. De raad is akkoord met het nieuwe bestemmingsplan voor het gebied. Er moeten 650 woningen komen in twee torens van zeventig en tweehonderd meter hoog, en maar liefst 39.000

vierkante meter aan kantoorruimte langs het spoor. Ook al is de gemeente naar eigen zeggen voornemens “de mix van cultuur, horeca en design te behouden”, een post van het plan op de Instagram-pagina van de gemeente deed veel stof opwaaien: de vijftienhonderd opmerkingen onder het bericht waren ziedend van toon en richtten zich met name op de angst dat de vitale nachtcultuur van het gebied verloren zal gaan. Het Schieblock is het hart van de Rotterdamse nacht: Perron, Annabel, Poing, Reverse, Roodkapje, Biergarten, Operator Radio en sinds kort dus Time is the new space. Ook daar maken mensen zich zorgen. “Woningen en uitgaansgelegenheden gaan heel moeilijk samen. Als er niet goed over wordt nagedacht, verliest Rotterdam een heel belangrijke culturele plek”, aldus een bezoeker.

Als je aankomt op de hoek van het Schieblock, naast club Poing en boven restaurant OX, ruik je de geur van het eten uit de rondom gelegen keukens. Het is licht misselijkmakend, de onverwachte hint wierook uit het TITNS-pand is welkom. Binnen overal kaarsen. De rookmachine staat aan, de dj’s van duo Sim City draaien gemoedelijke house. Het geluid is vol en helder maar staat redelijk zacht, wat de pre-party’er die wil kletsen een dienst bewijst. In de loop van de avond gaat volume omhoog.

Op een groot scherm in de hoek wordt Do I smell smoke? vertoond; een experimentele film over een van

de heetste zomers ooit in Rotterdam. Middenin staan oude bioscoopstoelen en een geïmproviseerde garderobe, wat de ruimte in tweeën deelt: aan de ene kant de dj-booth en dansvloer, aan de andere kant de bar en tapijten op de grond om een huiselijke sfeer te creëren. Het geheel contrasteert met de omgeving. Voor de deur is het koud en hard, beton en grijs. De Gulpenerlantaarn, de drukte van langslopende paraplu’s, het neonbordje met ‘open’, de camera’s die overal rond het Schieblock hangen en de oranje gloed die van de Schiekade afstraalt creëren een cyber punk-achtige atmosfeer. Of overdrijf ik nu?

In elk geval is het TITNS een ongrijpbare plek. Vanavond is het een volwaardige club met dj’s, morgen is er een twaalf uur durende live radiomarathon georganiseerd door Extra Extra Magazine en de dag erna de albumrelease van de experimentele band Puppies in the Sun. Er worden workshops gegeven, podcasts opgenomen en vergaderingen gehouden. Onder andere over de toekomst van het Schieblock. Op de vraag of Time is the new space een blijvertje is, antwoordt Marselje cryptisch: “In principe blijf ik hier zitten en evenementen organiseren tot ik weg moet. Wanneer dat precies is hoor ik te zijner tijd wel. Het duurt nog wel even.”

Podcast & Livestream studio | Stadslab | Event space RCD Clubhuis | Operator Check the website for more information. Schiekade 185 3013 BR Rotterdam www.timeisthenew.space
Jonasz Dekkers foto credit: NRC.nl Kamiel Scholten


RCD is a thriving area, and in early December, the RCD Association celebrated all the strides made in 2022 during an End-of-Year meeting hosted at Tuesday in the Millennium Tower. Members, developers and companies joined to discuss the latest local developments and what’s in store for 2023. And, of course, to toast the new year together!

39 R C D M A G A Z I N E TEXT Tessa Burger


Nearly a hundred Rotterdam based entrepeneurs gathered to celebrate the end of 2022 during a Glasshouse Dinner on the roof of the Groot Handelsgebouw. With delicious plant-based dishes served by Lokol, under the direction of Chef Pepijn Schmeink, it was a stellar evening in a magical setting.

40 TEXT Tessa Burger PHOTOGRAPHY Rosa Kwist


When a friend of Closure founder Graciëlla van Vliet got a Facebook notification about a loved one who had passed away years before, it raised the question: why isn’t there some central place to report when a person has died? It turned out to be a gap in the market and Graciëlla had found her mission: to create a one-stop platform where people can report the death of a loved one and wind up all their memberships, contracts and accounts. Five years on, one in four deaths are reported through Closure, and Graciëlla heads a young and dedicated team in a beautiful office in the Groot Handelsgebouw.

The company’s vision is to help people who have lost a loved one get through the pain and making it as easy as possible to close and cancel all their accounts, memberships, subscriptions and contracts. “We’re a people-friendly, data-driven external help desk for people coping with loss,” Graciëlla explains. “While we are offering support to the heirs of the deceased, we also make the process easier for subscription providers, telecom providers, utility companies and charities, for instance, by taking over that supportive role from them.” Closure operates on a B2B model, in which a death is reported to a corporate partner (a subscription provider) primarily via a web form or phone that is then handled by the Closure team. After informing the respective organisation, heirs can make use of the possibility to easily share the death notification with all other organisations that need to be informed. Heirs pay nothing. Graciëlla’s company currently partners more than 150 funeral homes and large clients including T-Mobile, Interpolis, OV-chipkaart, Knab, Unicef, Oogfonds and all DPG Media brands. “We can take care of thousands of notifications daily from different organizations because we’ve invested so much in automating the process. Our magic happens behind the scenes, where we have a very solid operation to quickly wind up death notifications in a very customer-friendly way.”


In the past year, Graciëlla and her team took a first step across the border, to Belgium, and they also have plans to

expand into the UK. “Because of the type of clients we work with – such as banks, telecom and insurance providers – our sales cycles are long. Based on our analysis supported by DutchBasecamp, we know that our main potential is in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States.” Closure’s vision for the future is fixed on increasing customer satisfaction and reducing client contact costs. At the moment, these efforts are concentrated largely on optimizing the process around death notifications, but Graciëlla sees openings to expand to other “key moments in life” as well. “From assisting those who have lost a loved one to possibly enhancing customer care solutions across a broader spectrum of terminations or changes, as a result of marriage, divorce, debt restructuring or relocation. We are experiencing tremendous growth process-wide, so it’s a wonderful challenge.”

41 R C D M A G A Z I N E TEXT Céline Boute


The name Esveha derived from the Dutch pronunciation of the company trademark ‘S.V.H.’, short for Simons, Veerkade, Haag. Their original premises were destroyed during the wartime bombardments. Even before the war was over, Rotterdam-based architect Hendrik Breur started designs for a new building. However, a halt on construction thwarted those plans, and Breur himself was rejected by the Architectural Committee. In his place, they appointed J.J.P. Oud as ‘aesthetic advisor’. Construction started in January 1949 and the building was officially delivered on 1 August 1950.

As work got underway, an interior layout was drawn up, providing for a showroom in the basement and shipping and storage spaces, offices and a salesroom on the ground floor. The first floor housed the founder and his wife, along with an additional storeroom. The upper floors contained still more storage spaces.

The office building is part of a row of properties on Delftsestraat built in the early Reconstruction period. Plans at the time were to restore the city to its former glory brick by brick, instead of the large-scale redevelopment that was ultimately pursued.

The building lent most of its distinction from its celebrated architect, Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud. Oud made a name for himself as a member of the De Stijl artistic movement and a champion of modern architecture. His pioneering role in this new era of building rivals that of Le Corbusier and Gropius. If not for his reputation, the Esveha building would have received scant attention. Its façade was unremarkable among the neighbouring buildings on Delftsestraat. Sadly, its original composition is lost as even Oud’s fame could not prevent the building from being repainted completely black.


• Paper wholesaler Esveha’s offices on Botersloot were levelled by bombs during the Second World War.

• The project broke ground in January 1949 and the new building was taken into use on 1 August 1950.

• The principal façade measures precisely 16 by 16 metres. With a depth of 15 metres, the building was almost a perfect cube.

© Stadsarchief
42 TEXT Sophia Etmans





BUILT: 1949-1 AUGUST 1950 (IN USE)





1 AUGUST 1950



FLOOR AREA: 1,209 M²


To read more about this building, visit wederopbouwrotterdam.nl/en

© Stadsarchief Rotterdam © Stadsarchief Rotterdam © Marlies Lageweg 43 R C D M A G A Z I N E


This holiday season, a dazzling Christmas tree was put up again on the square in front of Rotterdam Centraal Station for all to enjoy. After the tree’s long-time principal sponsor withdrew its support, local organizations and residents joined to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Thanks to the generosity of the Rotterdam community and several large companies, enough money for a tree was raised in the nick of time. A festive tree-lighting ceremony was held to celebrate, made even more spectacular by NS and ProRail briefly switching off all the lights around the station square.

The tree was trimmed from bottom to top with circularly created ornaments, including the huge gold tree-topper made from recycled material. In the spirit of giving, the campaign also made a Christmas donation to the Sophia children’s hospital. For the 120,000-plus people who pass by the station every day, the tree was a festive treat and a testament to the strength of the Rotterdam community!


Breaking news! In early December, the Municipality of Rotterdam published the results of a formal public opinion survey and gave the green light for RCD property owners to join forces in the brand-new Stichting BIZ RCD (‘RCD Business Investment Zone Foundation’). This means that, for the coming period of at least five years, not one but two organizations will be investing their energies in RCD, with the new RCD BIZ Foundation joining the RCD Association. We’ll fill you in on all the details of this new partnership later, but it already promises to inject a huge boost from 2023 on!

44 TEXT Tessa Burger


At the end of 2022, CIC had the honour of welcoming Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Liesje Schreinemacher. The innovation centre facilitated the meet-up about international business, during which the community had a chance to share stories about their own innovations in Rotterdam’s urban entrepreneurial ecosystem. It was a great morning with loads of new insights!


Hey, are you following us? On Instagram, that is (@centraldistrict)! That’s where we post our favourite hotspots in the Central District daily and take you behind the scenes of the magazine. We also keep you up on all the latest local news, and you’ll be the first to know when the next magazine issue is out.

If you have any suggestions, questions or want to post a message or ad, drop us a line at info@rcdpublishers.nl. We’d love to hear what you’d like to read about in RCD Magazine!


On 27 April this year, King WillemAlexander and his family are visiting Rotterdam for King’s Day! As well as the Dutch monarch’s birthday, he will also be celebrating the tenth year of his reign. As the theme of this King’s Day, the city has chosen ‘We are all kings and queens’, highlighting how we are all different, and all special in our own way. A variety of organizations, city residents and partners are teaming up to throw a party fit for the king!

45 R C D M A G A Z I N E


In order to realize our ambitions and to optimally develop the potential of the district, we have been bundling all the knowledge and interest groups in the area into an association since 2009: Rotterdam Central District.

Not only are we aware of and familiar with all of the developments in the area, we are also joining forces in the neighborhood to create a good reputation for the district. We are a catalyst for positive change. We discover, connect and take action to make this happen. In collaboration with organizations, both small and large, investors, residents and the municipality, we are building a more social, green and sustainable area with an authentic and robust reputation. Our association stands up for the interests of your organization. Together we develop the area, we put it on the map. Join our community.

The association keeps you informed of developments of and stories from the neighborhood. We also host various events for the community, from lunch concerts to neighborhood drinks and substantive sessions. In this way, we stimulate connections and possible collaborations, good for expanding or maintaining your network. We join forces to work on area development and a good reputation of the district.

To achieve this we have:

• RCD Talks: knowledge sessions about and from the district

• RCD Events: network drinks, events and lunch concerts

• RCD Q&A: source of information and a brainstorming day for the neighborhood

• General meeting: meeting regarding the realization of the area plans

• News & updates: various substantive articles, interviews and news updates

• Magazine: 10,000 circulation, 4 times a year. RCD members advertise with a discount

• RCD Podcast: conversations with entrepreneurs from the area

• Various active social media channels: Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook

• Monthly online newsletter featuring the latest news from RCD

Please contact Rob Ittmann (06 222 42 177) or mail to: info@rotterdam-centraldistrict.nl

Association Rotterdam Central District

Weena 690 (14e verdieping)

3012 CN Rotterdam

For more information about RCD, please visit: www.rotterdam-centraldistrict.nl

© Iris van den Broek



If your company isn’t on this list, please contact info@rotterdam-centraldistrict.nl

3MP online video


Alticom B.V.


Arconiko Architecten


Atelier van Berlo

Bar Rotterdam bv

Big Room B.V./Reverse/Mykech

Broodje Q

Carthago Consultancy


CBRE global investors

CIC Rotterdam

Ciphix BV



Conix RDBM

Cromwell Property Group

Cushman & Wakefield

DakAkker rooftopfarm foundation

De Mik Bedrijfshuisvesting

District East

DVDW advocaten




Gemeente Rotterdam

Greenberg Nielsen


Groot Handelsgebouw

High Potential Academy

Holmris B8

Humanoids BV



Lebkov & Sons

Loer Architecten

LS&H Lawyers

LSI Ontwikkeling BV

Lucie Group B.V.

Maarsen Groep



Ooms Makelaars Bedrijfshuisvesting B.V.

Pike Delivery

Pluq Studio


Premier Suites Plus Rotterdam


Rabobank Rotterdam


Our goal: With an excellent business climate, worldrenowned educational institutions within reach, and leading companies in many sectors from many countries, RCD has huge potential. Association Rotterdam Central District contributes to the RCD by realizing a well functioning area. The goal is to promote a district that has international appeal, and high quality working and living conditions.

Circulation: Free for the RCD district. The magazine is distributed by promo teams, loose circulation and HRM departments of companies within RCD to guarantee reaching the (sub)target groups of RCD.

Frequency: Four times a year

Rotterdam Festivals

Rotterdam Marriott Hotel

Rotterdam Partners


SaM& doethetgewoon.

Sanderdebreukconsultancy bv

Scapino Ballet Rotterdam

Spaces Hofplein

Steel Rides

Stichting De Nieuwe Poort

Stichting Theater Rotterdam


Time is the new space

Unilever NV

Urban Minds B.V.

Van der Stap notarissen


Vereniging Rotterdam Central District

Vereniging Verenigd Schouwburgplein



Wrap Maniacs

WTC Rotterdam



Editor-in-chief: Romy Lange

Managing Editors: Céline Boute & Tessa Burger

Intern: Sophia Etmans

Advertising: Please send an e-mail to info@rcdpublishers.nl for questions about advertising.

Art Direction and Graphic Design: vanStijl

Translation: Taalcentrum-VU

Printed by: magazine-masters.nl

Do you have a message for the editorial team or would you like to place an ad? Send us an e-mail at info@rcdpublishers.nl.

Thanks to: Martine Lekkerkerker, Marischka de Knoop, Tuesday, Boudewijn van der Sar, Rob Ittmann, Rotterdam Central District, CBRE, Maarsen Groep, Savills, Groot Handelsgebouw, Gemeente Rotterdam, World Trade Center Rotterdam, Corporate Housing Factory, Miranda van Spengen, Kees van Oorschot, Elsemieke Beuk, Microlab, Wouter Bauman, Dakakker, Hugo Jonkman, Michael Blokland, Stichting de Nieuwe Lichting, Eduard Voorn, Albert Kramer, Mikel Fernández, Codarts, Iris Kampers, Joyce Kornet-Vreugdenhill, Terry Spoon, Christel Schuurman, Marsha Goei, Linky Chen, Micky Chen, Anna Roleau, Graciëlla van Vliet, CIC, Michel Pan, D&B The Facility Group, Anouk Verharen, Laura Salm, Swisscom, Alexander Minniti, Closure, Wederopbouw Rotterdam, Ralf Emmerich & VanStijl

© 2022 RCD Publishers. All rights reserved. Nothing appearing in this magazine (information, pictures, images) may be copied or reproduced, in any manner whatsoever,
explicit permission
been given in writing.
COLOPHON Copyright
Central District
Rotterdam info@rotterdam-centraldistrict.nl
Association Rotterdam
(14th floor) 3012 CN
RCD Publishers Groot Handelsgebouw, 7th floor Stationsplein 45 3013 AK Rotterdam +31 (0) 20 362 09 93 info@rcdpublishers.nl www.rcd publishers.nl
Magazine RCD is issued by:
47 R C D M A G A Z I N E

The Modernist, 12.750m² office space and 369 apartments in Rotterdam Central District. The Modernist is a sustainable and future-proof building and just received the BREEAM Excellent certification. This, among other things, offers a very pleasant environment and a substantial reduction in energy costs The Modernist

TheModernist.nl The Modernist is an initiative by EXCELLENT ****