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Swimming Venue Hart van Zuid




TeamVincent van der Meulen, Joost Esschendal, Jan-Hein Franken, Laurence Meulman, Bart van der Werf, Eveline Withagen

GFA15.225 m²

Kraaijvanger Architects redesigned the former Rotterdam Zuid Borough Offices into a multifunctional swimming venue. The building is transformed into a premier destination that interacts with the surrounding area thru shops, bars and restaurants at the street level.

A remarkable transformation

The Charlois swimming pool no longer met current requirements, and the borough offices had become partially vacant. During the tendering period for Hart van Zuid the consortium proposed that the offices be converted into a swimming venue. The building will still house a Municipal Services Office after the renovation, as it contains ample space and is conveniently located.


The building’s existing facade is renovated sustainably and preserved where possible. The extension’s facade is made up of windows of varying sizes. Windows will be large where daylight is desirable and smaller where there is a need for privacy. The new facade is inspired by the existing one which will be visible in the new facade’s rhythm, colour scheme and use of depth. This interplay between old and new unifies the building.

First 50-meter pool of Rotterdam

The new venue will boast two swimming pools, one a 25-metre pool with an intimate, bathhouse-style atmosphere and the other a 50-metre pool with a more athletic feel. The latter is the first Olympic sized pool in Rotterdam. Adjustable floors allows the pools to be used for several functions. The 50-metre pool has bleachers to accommodate an audience of up to 1,000 people at large events. A glass wall links the two pools.

Hart van Zuid

The transformation is part of the Hart van Zuid (“Heart of South”) project and started mid-summer 2016. Along with the pool, we are also working on the expansion of the Ahoy arena. 

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