Central Plaza

orientation, atmosphere and coherence

Central Plaza shopping area in Rotterdam Weena Boulevard reopened on the 21 April after an extensive six months refurbishment. The offices and car park had already been refurbished and completed shortly before. In 2011 GROUP A was commissioned to design the refurbishment of initially the 16,000 sqm of offices in Central Plaza along the Rotterdam Weena; a commission given further clout by the architects’ introduction of the following themes to the project:

The selected comprehensive and integrated approach has already attracted new office tenants and has led to a full rental of retail space. Also the refurbishment of Central Plaza was awarded the ‘Award for Sustainable Architecture 2012’ (jury report: ‘Central Plaza is an excellent example of large-scale, sustainable refurbishment… ‘), with which the overall transformation has become a success in many ways for client Unibail Rodamco.

Optimisation of the urban route from Rotterdam CS to the city center is implemented by GROUP A by moving the main entrance to the shopping arcade, right into the buildings’ corner facing the Central Station Square. To provide orientation a large glass revolving door – almost like a sculptural cylindrical element – is pushed into the shopping arcade. To improve guidance of visitors’ flows through the arcade shop fronts are replaced and positioned in a more flowing line, providing a better connection between the entrances. Floors in the retail area got a new hardwearing natural stone finish, shop fronts are replaced, and signage and lighting fixtures redesigned, to provide clear orientation, a pleasant atmosphere and collective identity in the arcade. Ligting concepts were drawn up by BeersNielsen light designers. Along with the new arcade layout, routing, finishes and materialisation, these improvements create a pleasant and inspiring shopping environment as well as a strong link between Central Plaza and the surrounding public area.

Enhancement of the Central Plaza’s identity along the Weena is achieved by adding large new canopies with integrated light fixtures, emphasising the entrances to both the shopping area as well as the offices above. The extensive refurbishment of the offices includes the full make-over of the two entrance lobbies on the Weena, applying new natural stone floors, bamboo clad walls, and 3,5 meter high transparent revolving doors allowing daylight to enter. Reception areas on the individual floors are also fitted out with bamboo clad walls, while glass lift doors also here bringing in daylight. Additionally all shell-and-core office space and restrooms are fully refurbished, with an 1,800 mm grid high-end acoustic ceiling making use of sound baffles above ceiling redundant and allowing tenants great flexibility in workspace concepts and layouts. The upgrade from Energy Label Class E to Class A, is the natural result of an intelligent climate concept, and includes full replacement of all plant.



Unibail Rodamco and Fakton Ventures bv




Weena, Rotterdam, NL


16,000 sqm offices and 3.800 sqm retail


Retail, offices, parking, residential

Start design

Januari 2011

Start construction

June 2011


April 2013

In collaboration with

Roukens + Van Gils


Award Sustainable Architecture 2012


Ossip van Duivenbode

The makers of this project

Folkert van Hagen

Folkert van Hagen

folkert@groupa.nl Architect | Partner

Brigitte van der Tuin

Brigitte van der Tuin

brigitte@groupa.nl Interior architect

Birgitta Rottmann

Birgitta Rottmann

birgitta@groupa.nl Architect | Projectleader

Ramon Wijsman

Ramon Wijsman

External stakeholders

Lighting designers