Architects:De Architekten Cie. - Mulderblauw Architecten - Forum Concept & Design
The large-scale quality upgrade of ‘Hart van Zuid’ in Rotterdam has progressed rapidly. One major boost for the area is the renewal of the Ahoy square. The Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre (RACC), the RTM stage music and theatre hall were both recently taken into use, and as a result Rotterdam Ahoy now welcomes around three million visitors a year. The renovated Ahoy square will also have a lot more to offer, including a cinema, hotel, restaurant and wellness centre. This international business and entertainment district will be a major boost to the dynamics of Rotterdam South. Together with the Pathé cinema and car park, the development of the ibis Styles Rotterdam Ahoy hotel is a stand-alone project within a metropolitan area development. This project is in the final phase the development and will be the calling card for the entrance area to Rotterdam Ahoy.
Rotterdam Ahoy has been one of the driving forces behind the hotel development. Rotterdam Ahoy has been the stage for live communication, business and entertainment for almost half a century. Rotterdam Ahoy is a household name in the Netherlands and is deeply intertwined with the city of Rotterdam. It has long been a dream of Rotterdam Ahoy to welcome both business and leisure guests in a adjacent hotel, to offer an unforgettable experience.
Realising a hotel next to Rotterdam Ahoy, while they are organising several events a day, posed some serious challenges during the construction of the hotel. Just imagine, Roger Federer serving at match point during the ATP World Tennis Tournament and suddenly the ground starts shaking due to the construction works. The team managed to avoid these situations thanks to the perfect coordination of all the traffic flows, using highly detailed schedules completely adapted to Rotterdam Ahoy’s event calendar. It is partly thanks to the excellent cooperation with Rotterdam Ahoy that the realisation of the hotel progressed so smoothly.
Every ibis Styles hotel is marked by its premium and playful design, inspired by a unique theme, a story that is told throughout the hotel. Internationally renowned, specialised architectural firm Mulderblauw was the creative force behind this concept. They were responsible for the storytelling and all the hotel’s interior designs. The chosen theme is ‘Enchanted Oasis, which stands for:
“A romantic dreamscape, at a crossroads of opulence, mystical surrealism and wonderment”. ibis Styles Rotterdam is a world of discovery, where a fun adventure awaits you.
‘’Endless deep hues, enchanting rich
patterns and floral explosions come together
in this world of possibilities”
Foruminvest sets a number of important requirements for each project. For instance, a project always has to stand out due to its high (architectural) quality and user value. This is one of the reasons we chose Architekten De Cie, led by Pi de Bruijn and Wessel Vreugdenhill, to design the façade of the hotel.
The hotel façade is a layered design. The first layer in the design is a grid of horizontal bands at floor level, with vertical uprights in between. The colours blend perfectly with the palette of the surrounding buildings, creating an inseparable link with Rotterdam Ahoy.
The second layer is an interpretation of large, almost square windows combined with folded metal sheets in two colours. The large windows provide plenty of daylight in the hotel rooms and give the rooms panoramic views of the park, Rotterdam Ahoy and the city of Rotterdam.
The third design layer is a diagonal grid of floor-high quadrangular reflective façade elements. Thanks to their positioning, they reflect the park and the sky. This gives the view from the rooms an extra dimension, blending the building into its surroundings.
In line with the ‘Energy saving in new buildings’ Spring Agreement, the hotel will be built with an energy performance coefficient (EPC) that is at least 50% better than the currently required EPC value. We have managed to achieve this thanks to measures that include high insulation values for the floors, roofs and facades and a low U value (heat coefficient) for the glazing, guaranteeing maximum heat retention in the building. Very importantly, the hotel uses Rotterdam’s district heating network for heating and the hot tap water. This ensures the optimum use of residual heat from Rotterdam’s industry, which would otherwise be wasted. The hotel also has CO2-driven ventilation system with heat recovery, so ventilation is only used when absolutely necessary. On top of all that, quite literally, the entire roof surface and the technical area are covered with PV panels.
Finally, the design makes the maximum use of prefabricated concrete elements (such as floors, walls and façade elements). Manufacturing precast concrete elements in a factory provides better quality, is more efficient (less waste) and safer than production at the building site. The production process in a concrete factory is standardised and conditions are optimal. In addition, this also drastically reduces the number of traffic movements to and from the construction site and the associated emissions.
Of course, the entire roof surface and the technical room are full of PV panels
On the 24th of December 2019, one day before the start of the holidays began, our team managed to secure the development next to Rotterdam Ahoy in a last-minute deal. We had acquired the land and successfully completed all the relevant procedures. And we had put together a highly skilled and experienced project team to make this hotel development a great success.
Everything seemed to be going perfectly. But then, suddenly and completely unexpectedly, the whole world went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything was cancelled: no events, no tourism, no overnight stays, nothing at all. Together with all the hotel development stakeholders, we put our heads together – figurately speaking of course – to get through this as a team. So it should come as no surprise that we are extremely proud that together we were able to realise this beautiful hotel.