KCAP’s new office building in Rotterdam achieves both transparency and privacy
Blaak 31 in Rotterdam, delivered on June 30th 2010, is a 23,000 sq m office building designed by KCAP Architects&Planners and commissioned by Dutch real estate developer Provast. The majority of the floor space is used by a legal and tax service provider for whom interior architects Fokkema & Partners designed the interior. Blaak 31 is part of a series of new projects which form part of the urban regeneration of Laurenskwartier in the centre of Rotterdam.
Blaak 31 is situated on a prominent corner next to Blaak metro and train station alongside Rotterdam’s future Market Hall, also a development of Provast. This striking and historically significant location lacked urban intimacy. KCAP’s design responds providing a transparent and lively street frontage housing public functions like a café and a library.
On this prominent spot the 12-storey building through its unique form creates a recognisable address for its tenants. The stepped form with its slightly rotated volumes was determined by the distance from the adjacent Market Hall and the underground metro line; this massing allows maximum light and privacy for both buildings.
The interior layout has an open structure with large flexible office floors combined with atriums and large stairs to enable communication and interaction, and encourage an informal working atmosphere as requested by the user. The predominately natural materials support a personal, quiet and transparent working environment.
The façade, with its horizontal lines of glass and natural stone, emphasises the building’s form and allows good daylighting inside the offices and generous views to the street activities outside. This transparency between inside and out adds special urban qualities and encourages visual interaction. Not only is the steel structure visible from the outside, but also the life and work within the building.
Blaak 31 has been realised within an available construction time of only 21 months with both prefabricated steel frames and light facades. With the use of sustainable materials and techniques Blaak 31 reaches a GreenCalc+ score of over 200 points.