The Central Library on the Hoogstraat in Rotterdam is being renovated. Design teams were invited to tender for this major project. From the 22 (national and international) entries, five design teams were selected who will each start with the first phase of a new design for the library: a sketch design. Suggestions from Rotterdammers will also be included in the sketch designs.
After assessment by a committee of internal and external experts, the following five design teams have been selected:
KCAP / Schmidt Hammer Lassen / Drees & Sommer combination
Kraaijvanger Architects in a team with architectural firm Snøhetta from Oslo and the consultants Valstar Simonis, Aronsohn, DGMR and Baljon Landscape Architects.
Team VALADE (Team V Architecture / ALA Architects / ZUS / Deerns)
Alderman Said Kasmi (Education, Culture & Tourism): "It's great that so many design teams from home and abroad want to contribute to a renovated library. I'm looking forward to the sketches of the five design teams and am very curious to see how the wishes of Rotterdammers are taken into account. On to the library of the future!"
Theo Kemperman, Director and CEO of the Rotterdam Library: "The library will become even more the living room of the city, where Rotterdammers can acquire the skills and knowledge they need to participate in a rapidly changing society. A real library of, for and with Rotterdammers, where they come to meet and be inspired or to work and study. I am very curious about what the city will think of the designs!
The library and the city of Rotterdam feel it is important that the people of Rotterdam have a say in the new Central Library. In the near future, for example, city talks with Rotterdammers will start at several locations in the city - and online. Their suggestions will be passed on to the design teams.
The sketch designs are expected to be on display in the Central Library from February onwards. Reactions from Rotterdammers will also be passed on to the assessment committee. This committee will ultimately choose the winning sketch design. The design team will then create and elaborate the preliminary design, which will be followed by a final design. If everything goes according to plan, construction will start in 2025.
The current Central Library, opened in 1983, is in urgent need of renovation after almost 40 years of intensive use. The building is technically outdated and no longer fits in with a modern library, which for Rotterdammers should be a central location where all library functions come together. The building will also be technically renewed and made more sustainable, and the outside space and the connection to the inner city will be improved.