Architects: Benthem Crouwel Architekten
Project team: Jan Benthem, Marten Wassmann, Annette van Baren, Marcel de Goede, Jeroen Jonk, Peter Kropp, Roy van Rijk, Daphne Tempelman, Daniël van der Voort, Nico de Waard, Marcel Wassenaar, Joep Windhausen
Gross floor area Renovation: 21,350 m²
Gross floor area Penthouse: 2,350 m²
Photography: Jannes Linders
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Las Palmas is a multifunctional building of approximately 25,000 m² floor space. With its cultural and commercial functions it is synonymous for the progress towards new urbanity on Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam. For a decade now, work has been carried out on the south bank of the River Maas for the redevelopment of the Wilhelminapier, once home port of the Holland America Line, which once connected international sea ports such as Rotterdam and New York with passenger services. ‘Las Palmas’, the former workshops building of the Holland America Line, is located between high-rise projects of Rem Koolhaas, Norman Foster and Renzo Piano, at the very centre of the pier.
Built in 1953 to a design by Van den Broek & Bakema. This foremost example of the architecture of post-war Dutch rationalist architecture has been fully restored according to a design by Benthem Crouwel Architects. A thorough renovation of the existing cladding has reinstated its original ambience.
The fully restored Las Palmas is a mixed-use building of cultural and commercial ends.
It now houses the Nederlands Fotomuseum, a school of new media and a large events hall along with an exclusive fish restaurant and an array of companies.
The restored building has been expanded with a state of the art penthouse, which houses the headquarters of OVG, a real estate developer. The Penthouse floats a good three metres above the Las Palmas building, held aloft on thin steel columns. This two-storey office volume is rounded off vertically at the head ends in deliberate contrast with all other buildings on Wilhelmina Pier. The maritime mood projected by the Penthouse refers to its waterside location and to the history, inextricably interwoven with shipping, of the Kop van Zuid project on the south bank of the river Maas.
The Penthouse stands on 23 columns, special attention having been paid to the feet to enhance the floating effect. The main core of Las Palmas stitches together old and new elements, lending stability to the whole. A large goods lift in this core ascends to a roof terrace lying below the volume of the roof structure and containing 14 parking places. Above, the white volume opens up to the north and south with storey-height butt-jointed glazing. Both directions offer an unimpeded view of the river, the Rijnhaven harbour basin and the shorelines of the city beyond. As a dazzling eye-catcher the penthouse anchors the renewed Las Palmas complex in the skyline of the scarcely 0.1 km² large Wilhelminapier, the future Manhattan of the Netherlands.