Day 138/365 of Steel – Roberto Meyer

Can architecture be rock’n’roll? Yes, of course, and in the Netherlands you inevitably end up with Roberto Meyer and MVSA Architects. The ING House once heralded their international breakthrough. Meanwhile, more than fifteen years later, his MVSA Architects are winning one prestigious tender after another.

The ING House
Fig 1: The ING House
© Mig de Jong

After the peak of the ING House and the major projects that followed, 2013 saw the divorce of his business partner Jeroen van Schooten. Roberto took over the firm and the name was shortened to MVSA Architects. The firm realized among others The Flow in Amsterdam, the office building Social Affairs and Work in Groningen and the new Headoffice for EMA  (build in a record speed and off course with a steel frame) and is currently working on a spectacular project : the new library for the University of Amsterdam.

European Medicines Agency (EMA) office in Amsterdam
Fig 2: European Medicines Agency (EMA) office in Amsterdam
© Corné Bastiaansen

Two projects made a big impression on me at the time: Infinity (formerly ING House) and Rotterdam Central Station, a project that was a co-creation between Benthem Crouwel Architects (Jan Benthem), West8 (Adriaan Geuze) and MVSA (Jeroen van Schooten). I will highlight ING House in another post, but today I will dwell on CS Rotterdam.

Rotterdam Central Station
Fig 3: Rotterdam Central Station
Photo ©Jeroen van Dam 

The roof that spans the entire station creating a single entity is actually made up of two halves – a high, light section vaulting the tracks and trains, and a more imposing section over the main entrance hall clad in shiny stainless steel. This is a reference to the glistening River Meuse that flows through the heart of Rotterdam.

Rotterdam Central Station
Fig 4: Rotterdam Central Station
Photo © Luke Harley

The roof above the main entrance hall is a steel structure of an immense span supported at just two points founded on the subway station’s diaphragm walls. To soften the awe-inspiring scale of the new station, the architects opted for a warm, wooden cladding for the enormous roof’s interior. (text : MVSA). 

Rotterdam Central Station
Fig 5: Rotterdam Central Station
Photo © Jannes Linders

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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