X-Ray-Scanner I, II, III and IV, Rotterdam

visually attractive building in rough harbour area

The X-Ray-Scanners in the Rotterdam harbour area are four concrete ensembles with an iconic appearance. Although they seem simple at first sight, they are all visually powerful buildings. For the design of X-Ray-Scanner III and IV we used the same materials as the first two scanners. In this way, a series of Customs buildings is created at the various terminals with a clear recognisability for the drivers.

The first X-Ray-Scanner – designed in collaboration with Art & Build – offers a container scan that allows incoming containers to be checked quickly and safely; 25 trucks can be screened per hour. The highly advanced X-ray technology is housed in a building that shows this dynamic on the outside.

After ten years of service, the compact X-Ray-Scanner II has been replaced by a more technically advanced scanner. For the X-Ray-Scanner III and IV at the Delta Terminal on the Maasvlakte, we used the same materials as the previous buildings. The anthracite-coated concrete and AluZinc roof have proven to be resistant to the harsh environment of sea wind and port activities.

The technical preconditions for the third and fourth scanners were very different. Firstly, there are two fixed scanners, a vertical top and a vertical side scanner. The containers are pulled through the scan construction on a train of trailers. Together, these scanners generate a 3D image that makes the contents of the steel containers visible on the basis of material differentiation. We made  use of further developed equipment, that provide the same image with less radiation.

Because the client was open to unusual choices, a clear accent could be placed in an architecturally unattractive manner. The border controls are now faster, safer and more beautiful than ever.



Belastingdienst Customs Rotterdam


New build


Maasvlakte, Rotterdam


X-Ray I: 650 sqm², X-Ray II: 200 sqm², X-Ray III: 195 sqm², X-Ray IV: 195 sqm²


X-ray scanner

Start design

September 2006 (X-Ray I), January 2008, August 2016 (X-Ray III), October 2018 (X-Ray IV)

Start construction

November 2006 (X-Ray I), January 2008 (X-Ray II), August 2016 (X-Ray III), September 2019 (X-Ray IV)


July 2007 (X-Ray I), June 2008 (X-Ray II), February 2017 (X-Ray III), April 2020 (X-Ray IV)



In collaboration with

Art & Build

The makers of this project

Maarten van Bremen

Maarten van Bremen

maarten@groupa.nl Architect | Partner

Fieke Poelman

Fieke Poelman

fieke@groupa.nl Architect | Projectleader

Fatima El-bouyahyaoui

Fatima El-bouyahyaoui

Edwin Larkens

Edwin Larkens

Sander Peter Schuur

Sander Peter Schuur

External stakeholders