Lighting Center by the Port of Rotterdam
Located over a dam in Rotterdam, in an area where industrial and residential buildings coexist, this project interacts with the atmospheric condition of the landscape of the port that, applicable to other cases, serves as starting point. Hence, the humidity, the diffused light, the mists and the clouds generate the project. The latter float over the dams, defining planes parallel to the ground with different densities.
The program harbors a technical center (offices, exhibition areas, laboratories, construction of prototypes), factory and storage areas. The design proposes a large roof to accommodate the main installations with solid and void areas; here appear a series of irregular pieces of different sizes and lengths like the motif that configures the roof: clouds trapped in the dam.
These pieces are skylights in the factory and at the same time (and with a greater scale) three “heads” in the technical center
due to their being close to the main canal and to the views from the opposite shore.
Glass and sheet (smooth and perforated) perform as solid and void, in an attempt to round off the building with the economy of means appropriate to an industrial structure. Moreover, the skylight-clouds bring natural light into the factory. Placed longitudinally and parallel to the strips of water that surround the plot, they take as reference the railway structures of the nearby dams, recalling the traces of a Palazuelo. The building is surrounded by a perimeter enclosure – made out of perforated sheet and “broken” elevations, resembling temporary stackings – that contains the loading and unloading warehouses for sea and ground transport. In the interior of the building the sensation seeked is that of being under trapped clouds, though sometimes the impression is that of being under the keel of one of the port boats. In any case (and also in relation to humidity), the aim is to capture that blurred quality of water pervading the port.
Fábrica de iluminación en el puerto de Rotterdam. Localización: Muelle de Binnenhaven. Rotterdam, Holanda. Proyecto: 1995. Cliente: Compañía Philips. Arquitecto: Ángel Verdasco. Fotografías: Carlos Arroyo.