Municipal offices De Rotterdam

a vertical city for meeting and interaction

The interior of the 33 floors of De Rotterdam is a ‘vertical city’. Which connects ‘urban junctions’. For meeting and interaction. A welcome area in the middle of the building form the ‘city centre’. ‘Neighborhoods’ form the generic parts of the work environment. And the more special meeting spots form the ‘city squares’ and ‘parks’. The interior of the Rotterdam municipal offices was realised in a very short time frame: from sketch to completion in just 2.5 years. This was possible through the open dialogue and a mutual trust in the process.

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For the integrated interior design, GROUP A has cooperated with Studio Makkink & Bey. The two design approaches created a layered effect and has strengthen the theme ‘vertical city’. Resulting in a surprising unique interior for its municipal offices.

The double-height 22nd floor forms the ‘city centre’ is designed as a public living room for municipal employees and visitors. Where you receive guests, have breakfast, organise informal meetings or give small workshops. An inviting open stairway leads to the restaurant on the lower floor, to be used all day instead of only during the two-hour lunchtime.

In the architectural design by OMA, the lift cores have been separated to give a more transparent feel. For the 33 floors that’s more than 3,500 sqm lift lobbies! Decided is to use this extra space for meeting areas, instead of only waiting area. The areas are immediately manifest when you leave the lift, with their colorful standing, leaning and seating furniture on an also colorful flooring. These meeting zones facilitates the ‘new ways of work’ concept and connect with the office floors. The central meeting hub for each floor features a ‘living room table’, and a coffee corne. On each floor you find avariety of work spaces, informal and formal meeting rooms, fitting the activity of work.

Every other floor has been given a special theme: either ‘square’ or ‘park’. The square floor have larger conference rooms. And the park floors quiet informal meeting spaces. The service functions, such as; superintendent, mail room, security and health care, are clustered and have a central location in the building.

An important aspect of the design is re-use. As part of the project, 5% of the budget had to be spent on Social Return On Investment (SROI). This budget was used to re-upholster 2,000 existing chairs with a special Rotterdam upholstery fabric. Developed together with Kvadrat and realised by the social workshop de Haeghe Groep. The fabric with a pattern of Rotterdam’s street names, is designed by the artist Andre Castro. Since each chair is covered with a different piece of the fabric, no two chairs are alike. Perfectly fitting the particular interior for the Municipality of Rotterdam




Gemeeente Rotterdam




Wilhelminakade Rotterdam, NL


44,000 sqm


Municipal Offices

Start design

September 2012

Start construction

February 2014


November 2014



In collaboration with

Studio Makkink & Bey and Roukens + Van Gils
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The makers of this project

Folkert van Hagen
Folkert van Hagen

Architect | Partner

Rolf van Gils
Rolf van Gils

Building guidance | Budget monitoring | Quality control

Raymond Leentvaar
Raymond Leentvaar

Interior architect

Brigitte van der Tuin
Brigitte van der Tuin

Interior architect

Birgitta Rottmann
Yi Tang
Jun Zhu
External stakeholders