ODA unveils redesign for rotterdam's historic post office featuring rhythmic stone façade

ODA unveils redesign for rotterdam's historic post office featuring rhythmic stone façade

ODA new york has been commissioned to redesign a historic building in rotterdam. sitting vacant for more than a decade, the former central post office, the ‘postkantoor’, aims to bring new life back to the city’s center. ‘POST rotterdam’, is a 58,000 sqm adaptive reuse project, and aims to reconnect the postkantoor to its energetic surroundings — to reclaim its place as a meaningful and civic component of the city’s urban fabric.

image by forbes massie (also main image)



ODA is working closely with braaksma & roos architecten bureau to create a combination of residential, retail, and hospitality programming, with ABT serving as the local architect. the design conceives of a dynamic mixed-use design, resolving to both preserve and adapt the postkantoor’s original construction. the POST, a building to be celebrated and enjoyed, will be a civic node distinguished by seamless connectivity.

image by forbes massie



the new 150-meter tower will rise towards the rear of the postkantoor and straddle the existing open courtyard. the vaulted plinth of the tower will greatly enhance the experience of the courtyard, coupling it with the great hall of the postkantoor. in a subtle nod to context, ODA mirrors the rhythm of five-foot spacing between columns on the façade in a stone grid that defines the tower. designed with nonpareil windows, the POST tower shows openings that vary in size and shape to funnel daylight. this variety sets a break from the series of glass-façade towers along the new rotterdam skyline, and celebrates the elegance of the main hall along its profile.

image by forbes massie



at street level, the majestic great hall — a vaulted, 1916 marvel soaring 22.5 meters (almost 74 feet) in height — will undergo a faithful restoration to serve as the project’s public heart, fed by existing entrances at coolsingel and meent. a new entrance on rodezand will render the hall accessible from all sides, and will connect with the building’s back courtyard to form a sweeping passageway. with construction set to begin in 2019, this project provides an opportunity to create a cohesive civic vision for the postkantoor; bringing people, place, and events together.

image by forbes massie



‘we believe that it’s time for the POST to stand not only as a memory, but also as an expression of the strength of rotterdam today as a vibrant, connected, center of culture, renewal, and quality of life. we believe that the hidden treasures that it holds should be shared by all citizens,’ says eran chen, executive director at ODA. ‘the POST tower is a reinterpretation of both urban living and the post office’s architectural assets, extending the elegance of the main hall through to the tower. this modern addition to the ensemble buildings in the coolsingel district is based on an extremely rigorous investigation combined with the expertise gained over two years working with city partners.’

image by forbes massie

image by forbes massie



UPDATE: this project has been shortlisted in the ‘future projects – commercial mixed-use’ category at the 2019 world architecture festival.



project info:


project name: ‘POST rotterdam’

location: rotterdam, the netherlands

architect: ODA new york

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,388 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample