New future for former Post office Rotterdam (NL)

On November 2, 2009, the Post Rotterdam Consortium (made up of Delta Development Group and SNS Property Finance), together with Alderman Karakus from the Municipality of Rotterdam, presented the plans for the redevelopment of the former Post office on the Coolsingel 42. The new Post Rotterdam, with completion expected in 2013, will play an important role in the realm of retail and hospitality by becoming the city's 'House of lifestyle brands'. It will also complement the existing retail outlets and restaurants in Rotterdam.

The Town Council approved urban planning preconditions for the project on September 22, 2009. With this approval, the Municipality of Rotterdam supports the plan for the new future of this national monument. The plan, a concentration of luxury retail outlets complemented by a design hotel, together with restaurants housed within an historic building, will without doubt, ensure a great location right at the center of the city of Rotterdam.

Alderman Hamit Karakus: "In the next few years the heart of the city will undergo a complete change whereby living, working and leisure time will unite. The city stimulates, among other things the entrepreneurship and the complete range of shops, restaurants and cultural amenities on offer. The end goal thus: a city center worthy of the metropolis that is Rotterdam."

The architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio is the architect of the design. "For me this project is primarily all about the reuse of the building. Within architecture reuse is the most interesting and important issue of our time. Reuse is sustainable and economical. This design is aimed at enhancing and enlivening the central location of the site. Post Rotterdam will become the city's new meeting place. Once the project is realized all floors of the former Post will be accessible to the public.

"The original waiting area with its characteristic concrete arches that span the main hall, acts as a 'catwalk' that connects the surrounding high quality retail outlets and gives a focal point for the higher floors where restaurants and the hotel are located. The main entrance at the Coolsingel side will be restored to its former glory and the transparent 'vertical foyer' located on the 'Meent' will really open up the building to the city. This architectural extension which consists mainly of high-quality glass and steel provides an area for restaurants and public events as well as acting as a showcase for the building it encloses. On the first floor, this vertical foyer forms an elegant connection to the glass-covered atrium," stated Ben van Berkel.

On behalf of Post Rotterdam, Bart van Rooijen, General Director of Delta Projectontwikkeling, presented an outline of what is planned in the concept for Post Rotterdam. A combination of high quality retail, a variety of first class restaurants and a design hotel forms its basis.

"The high quality retail formula must be a viable addition to the existing retail sector in Rotterdam and in no way be to their detriment. This is why we aim to bring new brands to Rotterdam and indeed to the Netherlands. What is important next to the retail in ensuring that this becomes a key destination for socializing is the high quality and distinctive hospitality provided by various restaurants, cafés and lounge facilities which will strengthen and add to the city's vitality. Located on the top floors will be a design hotel with approximately 80 rooms and a luxury restaurant. The concept for Post Rotterdam is based on the following themes: style, fashion, food, design and shopping. This coactive combination makes visiting the entire building of interest to the consumer.

"With this unique shopping concept centered upon the area of lifestyle, Post Rotterdam will realize and reach a new shopping standard for The Netherlands. This is achievable by offering the highest in quality and a full combination of retail and entertainment possibilities. With this beautiful building as a backdrop, the uniqueness and up-to-the minute style of what is on offer, will not fail to attra

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