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Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Netherlands Architecture News - Feb 21, 2022 - 15:56   1396 views

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo has upgraded the ground floor and part of the first floor of the 32-storey World Port Centre in Rotterdam, which the building was designed by Norman Foster and completed in 2000. 

The 32-storey WPC facilities were no longer fit for purpose, as Mecanoo explained. 

With the renovated interiors, Mecanoo proposed a more coherent activity based space with a clear identity. The studio's concept enfolds, based on the semi-circle form of Foster’s building, with various rooms where diverse formal and informal activities could be facilitated.

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

The World Port Centre in Rotterdam (WPC) overlooks the city and surrounding harbour from its prominent location at the far western point of the Wilhelmina pier, next to Mecanoo’s iconic Montevideo Tower.

In the renovation, Mecanoo's principles were based on good accessibility, improved connections to the outside, social interaction and an inviting street level.

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

The studio designed rooms to meet, rooms to drink, rooms to relax, rooms to wait, rooms to work, rooms to have an event. The Rooms both facilitate the formal functions, such as security, the welcome desk and lockers, as well as more informal amenities like a meeting space, lounge areas and the main bar for bigger events.

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo's design also uses the space along the facade for seating and locates all facilities along the building core with improved sightlines and inside-outside connections. 

Design elements with a strong identity, such as the Rotterdam Port Authority backlit logo and the airy curtain above the bar are visible from the exterior. These iconic elements add value and create a sense of place for the employees and visitors. A new spiral staircase connects the lobby and first floor and offers scenic views of the water. 

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Integrating various types of planters inside, they bring nature indoors and create a healthy atmosphere. The design features a variety of seating options for individuals or groups create spaces to eat, play, create or meet.

Stepping down towards the water, a generous terrace acts as an extension of the restaurant. With a bar along the perimeter and integrated planting, the terrace can host different events, from parties to lectures.

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

The studio chose durable materials to match the character of the area. According to the studio, the location of the different materials are determined by how the different rooms will be used, both from an acoustic and durability perspective. 

The design team also upgraded the lifts lobby with cladding that emphasizes the cut in the building core. Water ripple hammered metal panels hint to the harbour, and the new dark ceiling matches the entrance area.

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Sustainability and wellbeing

A safe, inclusive, and comfortable environment ensures a healthy office. Prioritising the health and wellbeing of all its users, the project pursues WELL certification. To achieve this, Mecanoo’s strategy involved introducing water tap points to stimulate drinking water and reduce wasteful bottle consumption. By using natural sound-absorbing materials we created a pleasant working environment.

Stairs became more prominent to stimulate movement. The reception and office space were moved to maximise the connections to the outside. 

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

"We reused many of the existing internal elements and finishes, such as the ceiling, flooring, the ventilation for fresh air and the convectors for heating the space," said Mecanoo. 

"We used certified wood and low maintenance materials that can be re-used. Indoor and outdoor greenery enhances biodiversity creates a healthy atmosphere and improves acoustics," the studio added.

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Mecanoo upgrades the ground floor of World Port Centre Rotterdam building in Rotterdam

Project facts

Project name: World Port Centre in Rotterdam

Programme: Renovation and upgrade of the ground floor, mezzanine and terrace areas; new concept, layout and functions: reception, coffee bar, check-in desks, meeting space, seating, lift lobby and terrace (500m2) totalling 1,550 m2 

Design: 2020 – 2021 

Realisation: 2021 

Client: Unifore and Marathon Asset Management.

All images © Ossip ArchitectuurFotografie

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