The Hilton Rotterdam hotel on the corner of Weena and Coolsingel is a landmark building. The iconic structure, which opened its doors in 1963, became a national monument on Saturday, September 10th 2016.
Hilton Rotterdam: a national monument
The building testifies to the rapid economic growth of Rotterdam in the fifties; the period during which the worst of the war damage was repaired. During that time, Rotterdam saw an end to the shortage of materials and housing as well as an improvement in its finances. Its 500 rooms equalled the number of all hotel rooms available in the city at that time.
The Hilton Rotterdam (1963) was designed by a local architect, Hugh Maaskant (1907-1977). Maaskant is also known for the Groothandelsgebouw and as one of the architects who designed the Euromast. His buildings are characterized by large scale, monumentality and sharp details, of which the Hilton is a good example.
The Hilton Rotterdam was one of the first international hotels in the Netherlands and was built to typical American standards. Over fifty years later, it still has the look of a luxury hotel of its time. Since it's grand opening in 1963, both the outside of the hotel and the sleeping quarters have remained virtually unchanged. Likewise, defining elements such as the atrium and the curved wall have also remained intact. The original dalle de verre walls made up of square glass slabs, built by Joop van den Broek have also stood the test of time. On both the front and back of the building, the name Hilton can still be seen in its original lettering.
The Netherlands has a total of nearly 200 national monuments from the Post-War Reconstruction period (1940 to 1965). Of those monuments, 27 are in Rotterdam.