ODA New York has been selected to redesign the historic post office of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The iconic Postkantoor has sat vacant for more than a decade, and now the adaptive reuse project aims to bring new life to the city center. Built in 1916, the post office was one of the only original structures still standing after the Rotterdam Blitz aerial bombardment in 1940. The city of Rotterdam hopes to re-energize the neighborhood by activating the site with residential, retail, and hospitality.
International development firm Omnam selected ODA from a range of renowned architects, including Bjarke Ingels and Daniel Libeskind. The mixed-use design was made to both preserve and adapt the Postkantoor’s original construction. The POST will be a civic node distinguished by seamless connectivity to the surrounding city. A new 150 meter-tall tower will rise towards the rear of the Postkantoor and straddle the existing open courtyard, on the new Rodezand wing. The vaulted plinth of the tower is made to enhance the experience of the courtyard, coupling it with the Great Hall of the Postkantoor. The design mirrors the rhythm of five-foot spacing between columns on the Postkantoor’s facade in a stone grid that defines the tower.
Eran Chen, Executive Director at ODA said that, “We believe that it’s time for the POST to stand not only as a memory, but also as an expression of the strength of Rotterdam today as a vibrant, connected, center of culture, renewal, and quality of life. We believe that the hidden treasures that it holds should be shared by all citizens." ODA will be working with Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, while ABT will be the local architect of record. West 8 will lead the landscape design for the POST, maximizing opportunities for connectivity on the surrounding streets.
With construction set to begin in 2019, the project aims to create a cohesive civic vision for the Postkantoor.