Rotterdam's Middelland neighborhood is in the midst of major change. In close proximity to the center of Rotterdam, Middellandstraat, one of its main commercial strips, has maintained the city's vibrant pace but with it, a reputation for being a bit "rough around the edges." To change this, the City of Rotterdam, neighborhood commercial investors, and residents have come together to improve public amenities.

One focus has been Middellandplein, a public square in the heart of Middellandstraat with a rich history. Social housing corporation, Woonstad, which owns and operates numerous Rotterdam properties, issued a request for parties to help them visualize the transformation of one of their buildings on Middellandplein, as part of this city initiative.

In response, P·A pitched We Are Middelland (WAM), a multifunctional neighborhood center with flex space, meeting rooms, as well as a cinema, pub, restaurant and yoga studio. The proposal is a district hub: both a social center with round-the-clock- multifunctional spaces, and restaurant facilities that activate public space with a terrace and an open ground floor façade, inviting the community inside.

This blurring of interior and exterior to activate connection is also used in interior organization. Mezzanines open the first floor to the ground floor and a long interior bar jaunts around a corner from restaurant seating to desk space, drawing together visual and social connections in the interior.

 
 
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said aboulasri

member of the 'We Are Middelland' (WAM) team

"The owner of the building put out a pitch request in an effort to find an suitable renter. Because the plan had to be developed very quickly, we gave P·A total freedom to come up with something that was both financially feasible and fulfilled our social ambitions. P·A understood exactly how to go about this. It was not only a beautiful design, but we also achieved the right look and feel for the location. We were the obvious winners of the pitch contest."

 

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ron van gelder

projectleader at 'Woonstad Rotterdam'

"It’s really important for the neighborhood that this building is revitalized with a good program. The business case must work out in both financial and social terms. P·A offered a convincing story; not only for the building but also for the redesign of the outdoor public space adjacent to it. Moreover, P·A went a step further and proposed to raise a nearby street to improve the quality of the public space and the café inside the building!"

view on the bar from the restaurant area. During the day, people can work and drink coffee, and in the evening it transforms into a restaurant annex cafe. The space can also accommodate performances which can take place on, or be viewed from the mezzanine as well.

view on the bar from the restaurant area. During the day, people can work and drink coffee, and in the evening it transforms into a restaurant annex cafe. The space can also accommodate performances which can take place on, or be viewed from the mezzanine as well.

impression of the restaurant with a view to 'Middelandplein,' the public square in front.

impression of the restaurant with a view to 'Middelandplein,' the public square in front.

the restaurant area at the front with the double height area illustrating mezzanine’s additional seating.

the restaurant area at the front with the double height area illustrating mezzanine’s additional seating.

the long bar connecting different spaces on the ground floor.

the long bar connecting different spaces on the ground floor.

adjacent to the large restaurant, is quiet corner that can be used as a working space or for private gatherings.

adjacent to the large restaurant, is quiet corner that can be used as a working space or for private gatherings.

impression of the multifunctional space used as a yoga studio.

impression of the multifunctional space used as a yoga studio.

the existing window openings on the ground and second floor are combined to form large vertical openings. Some double as entrances.

the existing window openings on the ground and second floor are combined to form large vertical openings. Some double as entrances.

ground floor plan of the restaurant with the public area on the left and the meeting rooms and multifunctional space with the patio on the right.

ground floor plan of the restaurant with the public area on the left and the meeting rooms and multifunctional space with the patio on the right.

plan of the mezzanine showing seating area, storage space and toilets.

plan of the mezzanine showing seating area, storage space and toilets.

 

client
Nasredin, Mansour and Said

address
Middellandplein, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

phase
design phase

role P·A
architect & interior architect