ROTTERDAM, 22 June 2023 – A significant milestone has been reached in the renovation of Rotterdam's Central Library, as the city council grants approval to the preliminary designs and funding for the upcoming refurbishment. The planned start date for the renovation is autumn 2025, during which the library will be temporarily relocated for three years. The improved Central Library is expected to reopen at the end of 2028.
Preliminary designs approved
On Thursday, preliminary designs for the refurbishment and temporary housing of the Central Library (Centrale Bibliotheek) were approved by the city council, marking the official commencement of the renovation process. The designs are now to be finalised.
Maarten Struijvenberg, the Alderman for Finance, Organisation, Service and Major Projects, has expressed satisfaction with the council's decision to allocate the required investment for the Central Library's renovation. He noted the importance of maintaining momentum in the process of transforming the library into a 'city's living room', envisioning a future-proof library in a lush green environment.
Future-proof library in a green environment
The design team, comprised of Powerhouse Company, Atelier Oslo, and Lundhagem, envisages the library as a city's living room. While the building is to be preserved as a cultural-historical icon, the interior will be made lighter and more suitable for social interaction. Iconic features such as the yellow pipes, glass waterfall, and blue warehouse will be retained and enhanced.
With entrances on all sides, the building will feature a basement bicycle parking with space for approximately 1,500 bikes. The exterior space will also be reconfigured.
Theo Kemperman, the Director and Board member of Rotterdam Library, is positive about the city council's decision. He envisages a library with dynamic spaces for a diverse community of Rotterdam citizens. He also praised the plan's focus on sustainability and integration with the city and its visitors.
Rotterdam citizens express their views
During a recent information meeting, Rotterdam citizens were invited to share their views on the preliminary design of the new Central Library and the temporary location. Regular visitor, Harro, praised the impressive design and described the library as a meeting place with a lot of activity. Another frequent visitor, Bart, admired the planned greenery surrounding the library.
The renovation of the Central Library is expected to run from autumn 2025 to autumn 2028. During this period, the library will be relocated to a municipal office building at Librijesteeg 4, approximately 200 metres away from the current location. This building will undergo renovations starting next summer to be able to function as a library. In the autumn of 2028, the library will reopen its doors at Hoogstraat.
For more information, please visit www.nieuwecentralebibliotheekrotterdam.nl. Drop-in consultation hours are available from 29 June to 20 July, every Thursday from 11:00 to 12:00 at the Central Library (Renovation Workshop, ground floor).
Temporary housing on Librijesteeg
During the library's renovation phase, from autumn 2025 to autumn 2028, the library will be housed in the municipal office building on Librijesteeg 4.
The new location: Librijesteeg 4
Librijesteeg 4, the library's temporary home, is situated about 200 meters from the current location. This area is rich with culture and history, providing an inviting environment for library-goers. The library's future home on Hoogstraat is located in a vibrant neighbourhood, bustling with shops and cafés.