ector hoogstad architecten converts steel plant into offices
all images courtesy of ector hoogstad architecten




as adaptive reuse is becoming more popular in the netherlands, ector hoogstad architecten (EHA) have developed an office space for dutch firm IMd in a former steel plant. taking advantage of many neglected sites and vacant buildings, IMd, an engineering firm, who have collaborated previously on EHA’s headquarters (a former school), chose the location of their own office by the river maas, in rotterdam. recycle rather than rebuild has been the theme of the renovated site, as the existing shell of the building is left to create an open two story office linked by foot bridges.

reception area and level two of IMd
photo by petra appelhof

EHA shell renovation

various spaces create dynamic meeting places

photo by petra appelhof



previous skylights in the roof radiate daylight onto common areas and offices, enhancing the openness. large windows have been installed to take advantage of views overlooking the water. the space is organized to encourage the workers to come together in various rooms and lecture halls.


‘it is an unusual layout for an office building, but it does have some big advantages. users are not directed away from the organisation, but are continually in contact with its spatial and social heart. that stimulates encounter and involvement. it also gives the hall an optimum spatial tension: bridges, underpasses and stairs mean that you can stray and, in this way, experience the space and the people within it from ever-changing perspectives’, says architect joost ector of EHA.

EHA shell renovation

a unifying yellow color and frosted plastic cladding soften the industrial feel of the space

photo by petra appelhof



most of the structure for the building was already present: the steel shell, concrete floors, and façade. a streamlined approach by adding minimal furnishings and concern to material choice makes this building particularly sustainable.

‘if recycling is done really well, the final quality is better than that of newbuild. that’s the motto in our work, but we are experiencing that now for ourselves, in our own office.’ state pim peters and remko wiltjer of IMd.

EHA shell renovation

common spaces furnished by simple picnic benches and low hanging bulb lighting

photo by petra appelhof


EHA shell renovation

exterior at night

photo by petra appelhof


EHA shell renovation

exterior by day

photo by petra appelhof



project info:


client: IMd consulting engineers, rotterdam
architect: ector hoogstad architects, rotterdam
project team: joost ector, max pape, chris arts, markus clarijs, hetty mommersteeg, arja hoogstad, paul sanders, roel wildervanck, and ridwan tehupelasury

floor area: 2014 sqm
start of design: august 2010
start of construction: january 2011
completion: august 2011
building cost: 1,785,000 euros

contractor: de combi, the hague

installation design: unica, bodegraven

structural advice: IMd consulting engineers, rotterdam

building physics advice: LBP sight, nieuwegein

fixed furnishings: interior architects l.p. van vliet, bergschenhoek

furniture design: ector hoogstad architects, rotterdam

electrical installations: unica, bodegraven

lighting: muuto , philips and lightyears via formfocus, zeist

walls and doors: qbic and rodeca, alphen a/d rijn

floors: bolon via brandt bv, oosterhout, ege via onstein textiel agenturen, blaricum

movable furnishings: drentea, feek, vitra, wilkhahn and AVL via PVO interieur zh, pijnacker

photography: petra appelhof