See-through, by EEA

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, exterior (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Saturday the 23rd of June buildings everywhere in the Netherlands open their doors to the public. This yearly event, the Architecture Day, has become through the years an enormous success. Last year we guided about three hundred visitors the De Brug, the new hovering office building of Unilever in the center of Rotterdam.

The organization of the Architecture Day this year asked me to tour the Inholland Building designed by Erick van Egeraat. The building is not that fresh, as it was finished in the year 2000, but it has set a benchmark in transparent architecture, that – as far as I know – no architect has surpassed.

Zenith - Defy Xtreme, transparant watch (Photo: Zenith)
Zenith - Defy Xtreme, transparant watch (Photo: Zenith)

The commissioner explicitly asked for this dramatic transparency, as they wanted to market themselves as a transparent school, and they were willing to invest money to realize this. The result is stunning in its rigor, with not only all walls made of glass (some with a blue print), but also with an enormous atrium in the center of the building that allows views into every corner of the building, and with ceilings that show what they are containing. A ‘one room’ building, some call it.

This glass building is – contrary to what you might expect – not minimalist. It is like a transparent watch that reveals its technology inside. Everything is shown, so the architecture ends up being a kind of techno-baroque.

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, canteen (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, atrium (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, study places (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, the view (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, the ceiling (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, exterior backside (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

This number next to the entrance refers to a podcast about the building, which can be downloaded from the internet. Because of the ‘Rotterdam Architecture Year’ blabla there are forty buildings of which all kinds of information is put on a dedicated website.

Number
Sites & Stories (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij) 

From the roof terrace at the backside of the building, one has a look on the apartment building designed by the German architect Hans Kollhoff that was featured on Eikongraphia earlier.

Here one has also a look at the construction of the extension of the building – also by Erick van Egeraat – that triples the size of the current building. Ironically, the current ‘first stage’ Inholland was back in the nineties designed to allow for a quick conversion into offices when the school would prove to be unpopular by students. That is sustainability. 

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, the roofterrace overlooking the residential project
designed by Hans Kollhoff (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, the extension being built (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam Extension Plan (Copyright EEA)
Erick van Egeraat - Inholland Rotterdam, extention plan (Copyright EEA)

Only related to the Inholland building by vicinity, are these air vents I came across today. They ventilate two underground parking garages at the Wilhelminapier, a couple of blocks further in Rotterdam. The first ones are designed by Foster + Partners for the garage under their office tower at the pier and uses the obvious iconography of the steamship-exhaust-pipes. The second pair is part of the Montevideo residential tower and is designed by Mecanoo. It uses again a nautical iconography by very literally referring to the air vents, that feature the decks of old ships.

Foster + Partners - Vents (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Foster + Partners - Airvents (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Mecanoo - Vents (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)
Mecanoo - Airvents (Photographer: Michiel van Raaij)

Related: Goblins, by EEA, Blurred Trees, Boulder, by EEA, Rock + Cave, by EEA.

The building is added to the Architects and Representation pages.


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