architecture : strategy and design

cultural centre, rotterdam, nl

programme infodesk, theatre, restaurant site rotterdam, holland surface 2.500 m2 budget 500.000 € year 2000 phase realised client rotterdam cultural capital 2001 team cab42 + david baars (design), cauberg huijgen (acoustics), heijmans bv (construction)

the programme demanded the refurbishment of an existing theater into an cultural info-center. the activity was to be temporary, two years. rather than spend the budget on a new carpet, a new ceiling and new lighting (500.000 € / 2.000 m2 = 250€/m2), we thought it would be better to concentrate our efforts on a smaller surface and have a more ambitious budget (500.000 € / 500 m2 = 1.000€/m2).

all imaginable objects necessary for the interior of the info-center were clad around the existing theater in a secondary skin : light, air refreshment, litter bins, video consoles, fire doors, poster cabinets, cigarette vending machines, wardrobe, everything. the rest of the space was simply stripped and painted. the necessary furniture for info and restaurant acitvity were added on both sides of the skin, and the entrances were renewed to present the new activity to the streets of rotterdam.

the building is still functional, and waiting for its demolition to make place for a 20 storey hybrid building.

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