Post Rotterdam by UNStudio



Architects UNStudio have released images of their competition-winning redevelopment of a former post office in Rotterdam.


The project involves replacing the roof and adding a shopping mall and high-rise hotel. The project will be finished in 2012.


The following text is from UNStudio:


Redevelopment and Extension Post Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2007

The design for the redevelopment of Post Rotterdam incorporates an ambitious mixed-use concept devised to respond to and enhance the original qualities of the existing building. Upscale retail facilities, restaurants, cafés and bars are combined with a luxury hotel, which in addition houses conference facilities and offices.


The design for Post Rotterdam incorporates an urban landscape, a vertical foyer, the redesign of the large central hall and the new hotel. These combined elements form a design approach which is sensitive to the existing monument’s qualities, while generating a synergetic architectural effect.


The mix of architectural presence and transparency is designed to emphasise and frame the entrance to the building. The post-war roof is replaced with a new glass construction, allowing daylight to penetrate the building and forming a connection between the new hotel and the existing monument.


The extension to the shopping street functions as a public platform, offering open spaces with flexible layouts, capable of housing a variety of functions; from exhibitions to performances, concerts and fashion shows.


The programmatic and infrastructural elements create a sustainable development which incorporates a ‘green shopping’ experience and aims to provide a new urban destination for the city centre of Rotterdam.

Client: Delta Projectontwikkeling - SNS Property Finance – Redevco
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Building surface: 44.000 m2
Building site: 28.500 m2

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Christian Bergmann, Eric den Eerzamen and Shany Barath, Telmo Antunes, Lars Nixdorff, Marc Herschel


Retail and concept: DCU, Madrid
Sustainability: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Stuttgart
Hotel: Feuring Hotel Project Development, Mainz

Posted on Monday July 28th 2008 at 5:45 pm by Rob Ong. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • edward

    I find the design concept jarring; the integration with the post office structure is non-existent. And what kind of structure allows such large free spans? It’s all too clumsy.

  • Love the open plan feel and the eye lines that link the buildings interior space. It would be great if the space could stay this clean of advertising, but i’m sure there will be huge banners and marketing slogans all over the structure by the time it opens!

  • tim

    So are the painting the whole thing white or what?

    No seriously though its pretty cool I guess. Could be a very interesting combo of new and old.

  • Mau

    I would really like the project (new part) if it wasn´t attached to a historical building. It feels like it doesn´t belong to the old post. It´s design is too agreesive, not sensible enough to be an apropriate extension.
    The all complex (especialy the tower ) would be perfect if it was across the street.

  • B

    good thing is that ugly mac donalds shack that is in front of the post office now will go.
    bad thing is it will probably move inside together with a kentucky fried chicken and a burger king.


  • Dave

    universal lattice… my guess a recent graduate of Ali Rahim is working at UN

  • kuba

    Fair point Tim – the original post office is far from white and whiteness seems to be the only thing that unites the two.

  • pEDRO

    The dead of architecture part _ (you complete)

  • an ambitious task – i hope the post office has a clock this time

  • Frank-3

    It is the same comments everytime a project that has a “skin” or is “curved” is posted. When will people get out of their modernist box mentality and realize that architecture can be more? While I agree some of these projects seem to lack a reasoning behind the form, I simply don’t care! I would rather see a building that is beautiful in its formal difference than another over-intellectualized box.

  • Olegger

    Not a post office but an iPod thing :-)

  • Michael


    – I am quite surprised that you are about to judge categorize architecture by “box” vs. “form”. To be honest this is quite provincial.

    – What do you mean by “architecture can be more” – formal expression? I think you are reducing architecture to its visual qualities (which reduces architecture to about 10% of what it is or could be).

    – By saying that a “building is beautiful in its formal difference” you express that this project would be different. Different to what? There are hundreds of projects like this being designed in Europe, Asia, Amerika… in my opinion this project is a generic design taking advantage of computer skills.

    To conclude I would say that I also do not like over-intellectualized boxes. But what I also do not like are buildings that are totally arbitrary in their formal expression.

    When comes the point when the public discourse on architecture goes beyond box vs. blob?
    I would rather like to discuss whether a project is unique or generic…this design is not bad, but clearly not unique…

  • Gabs

    Another set of dull rhino renderings

  • One

    The building went beyond the notion of boxes, which is the statent of this project, I believe. Convention on ugryness is also abandoned to make space for new geometry. I feel the building needs another rather thick constructive elements within, and that is alarming as architecture. It remind me of UN’s manifest on Manhappan project which was disappointing.

  • Joppe

    I miss the McDonalds at the corner of the Coolsingel and the Meent. I guess the whitewashed building doesn’t allow such frivolous structures.