This is a project by Neutelings Riedijk Architects and it is located at Lloydstraat, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Project's program: Educational establishment housing classrooms, offices, workshops and parking. There are twelve images for Shipping and Transport College.
The Shipping and Transport College in Rotterdam combines all the knowledge of the maritime and logistics sector in one single institute with different educational and consultancy departments. The site for this new building is a magnificent corner on the tip of the Lloydpier, a former harbour area that overlooks the River Maas.
The idea of the building is to make a robust volume as an emblematic icon for the institute, referring to the sculptural harbour architecture of silo’s, cranes and ships rather than to the typical school or office building. There for the complex has a strong sculptural zigzag shape, a kinked volume with a broad foot planted firmly on the quayside. The volume tapers upward to present a 70-metre tall backward-leaning tower. At the top it widens again into a broad crown cantilevering 20 metres. Whereas the foot contains a large window directed towards the river, the head literally nods in the direction of the North Sea, like a giant periscope.
The tower is organized as a vertical school. The standard school plan was set on its end and turned into a section. Instead of classrooms to either side of a broad corridor, here they sit one above the other, linked by a route of escalators. These escalators allow the flow of pupils to move through the building rapidly so that 2000 individuals can exchange one floor for another within ten minutes. Open areas and loggias crop up at regular heights throughout the building, as schoolyards where the pupils can meet. The two top floors of the tower are offices for the staff of the institute and several affiliated maritime consultancy firms.
The head of the tower is a congress hall seating 300 persons that cantilevers 20 metres from the tower at 70-metre level. The prodigiously jutting colossus offers congress-goers a dizzying view from the auditorium of the Port of Rotterdam in the direction of the North Sea. On the lower floors in the foot of the building, special collective and educational functions are laid out, such as a the two large restaurants, central hall and lounge, the sports centre, the virtual simulation rooms, the documentation centre and workshops for practical education. The side of the square houses a bookshop and a grand-café, to enhance public life in this area of the city.
The Shipping and Transport College in Rotterdam has specific and wide-ranging programme. The interior of the building was therefore divided up into neutral school spaces (the corridors and classrooms) and specific communal spaces (restaurant, canteen, lounge, sports hall, simulators, congress hall). In this way, for relaxation the strong ambiances in the spaces are compensated by the neutral ambiances. This clears the way for isolated ambiences based on cliché-ridden evocations - a smoky sailors' tavern, a booming officers' mess, a canvas-covered Nile boat - to materialize without the danger of an all-embracing house style. As it happens, the delineated scenes are made up for by the normality of the classroom and corridors which don't seek to attract attention or transport the students to distant climes. The students move from scene to scene by escalator as if in a claustrophobic submarine slowly churning its way upwards through the heart of the tower.
The elevation of the building is devised as an industrial-looking port installation on the Maas River. Not only the potent basic form, but also the scale less composition of the façade contributes to this image. To achieve this, the windows and storey heights as compositional elements in favour of a façade pattern at a higher scale level. The walls of stacked containers in the dockland areas were a useful referential images. A chessboard pattern of silver-grey and steely-blue corrugated sheets, held in heavy metal frames, is the uniform cladding for the façades, roofs and ceilings of the overhangs. It draws an unbroken industrial skin over the sculpture to further emphasize the maritime character of the building.