Recycling is a big issue in the Netherlands today. A large proportion of the building stock is vacant, awaiting renovation or re-allocation, including premises with unsuspected qualities just waiting for people with initiative who can spot this potential. So too this steel plant on Rotterdam’s Piekstraat; not an obvious location for an office, but enjoying a unique position with views over the river Maas. What made the building attractive to IMd was the vast space, dominated by an imposing steel structure. Renovation of the existing shell of the building soon proved an unrealistic option, in both the technical and financial sense. Finally, a strategy was chosen whereby all the work areas were created on two storeys in air-conditioned zones against the closed end walls. From there, they look back into the hall, in which pavilions with conference areas were created, interlinked by footbridges and different types of stairs. The hall itself has become a weakly air-conditioned cavity, which lends itself very well to informal consultations, lectures, exhibitions and lunching, for instance. Large new windows in what was originally a closed facade, in combination with the existing skylights in the roof, provide daylight and magnificent panoramas over the water.
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