The port of Rotterdam Authority will be constructing a new port experience centre (PEC) at Maasvlakte 2. This facility will be the successor to the FutureLand information centre. The building will be designed by MVRDV – responsible for projects like Rotterdam’s Markthal and Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen. The consultants at Kossmanndejong have thought along about the centre’s overall concept and will be working on the exhibition format, visitor experience and interior design. The centre will be realised close to Maasvlakte 2’s leisure beach, at the edge of Amaliahaven. The PEC is scheduled to open to the public in the first half of 2024.
“The new centre is in line with the Port Authority’s policy to retain and strengthen support for port activities in Rotterdam among the relevant target groups and stakeholders. We are very enthusiastic about the design for the new centre and are proud that we will soon be able to take our visitors on a fascinating journey through this world port,” says Port Authority CEO Allard Castelein.
“The new centre will introduce the public to the complex, dynamic world of Europe’s largest and most advanced port. The PEC allows you to explore the port and get a sense of its importance to our society, the economy and the surrounding region. It will also explain major changes like the energy transition and digitalisation in clear, accessible language. And let’s not forget the port’s role as driver of all sorts of new job opportunities. Young people are encouraged to recognise the many wonderful options that the port can offer them. This is achieved through a mix of hi-tech and hands-on activities and experience features,” says Richard van der Eijk, Director of Communications & External Affairs at the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
The plans for the new centre have been warmly received by companies in the port area. The PEC offers excellent opportunities to emphasise the important role played by the port, strengthen its proposition in terms of education and other domains and create a new location where an array of target groups can meet and engage. The centre will become the new ‘living room’ operated by and for the port and its business community.
The FutureLand information centre, which focuses on the construction of the new port area Maasvlakte 2, opened its doors in 2009. Over the years, FutureLand gradually expanded its scope to include information about current and future developments in and by the port. As such, the centre has been contributing for years to the excellent reputation of the port of Rotterdam and its port authority, as well as bolstering public support for the activities and development of the port complex. FutureLand has proven consistently popular with the public – including after Maasvlakte 2 ‘opened for business’ in 2013. Every year, the centre welcomes some 110,000 visitors.
Nevertheless, in structural terms, the current information centre is nearing the end of its useful service life. In view of FutureLand’s continuing popularity, the Port Authority has decided to commission a new centre. The Port Authority believes it is important to keep the public up to date on major developments in this world-class port, and is happy to give those interested a ‘peek behind the scenes’.
Educatief Informatie Centrum
There are also plans to let the Educatief Informatie Centrum (Educational Information Centre, EIC) at Rozenburg take advantage of the HEC facilities. The two organisations are currently in talks about this option. EIC aims to spark young people’s interest in the port, highlighting the numerous employment opportunities and associated degree programmes found in the area. Every year, EIC welcomes over 22,000 young visitors to the port. EIC is a foundation, and its board is made up of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Deltalinqs, STC-Group, Albeda and Stichting BOOR.
Experience the Port
To maintain its position as a world-class port, Rotterdam needs to foster strong public support among the relevant target groups. By structurally involving these groups in developments that are particularly important to the port, the Port Authority is able to realise a ‘licence to operate and grow’. The ‘Experience the Port’ programme plays an important role in this context. The Port Authority will consequently be developing a second facility in addition to the new port experience centre at Maasvlakte 2: the Port Pavilion in central Rotterdam, which opens on 15 July. Members of the public can drop by the Pavilion to draw inspiration for an upcoming visit to Rotterdam’s port area.
Rotterdam-based MVRDV is an international architectural office that develops contemporary solutions in the field of architecture, urban development and landscape architecture in regions the world over. MVRDV – founded in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries – has a multidisciplinary approach in which it strives to utilise as many innovative and sustainable technologies as possible. This results in distinctive, forward-looking projects that help our cities and landscapes to move toward a brighter future. Well-known projects designed by the firm include Markthal and Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Tianjin Binhai Library in China, Skygarden in Seoul and the Pyramid of Tirana in Albania.
Kossmanndejong develops spatial narratives and visitor experiences for museums, organisations, events and the public space. The Amsterdam design agency was established 25 years ago by architects Herman Kossmann and Mark de Jong, and has since grown to employ over 30 people. Its portfolio includes over 100 projects worldwide, bearing responsibility for, among other things, the visitor experience in the Dutch pavilion at EXPO2020Dubai, Lounge 2 in Schiphol, Bern’s Museum fur Kommunikation and Micropia at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo. Kossmanndejong has been recognised with a variety of awards. Only recently, two of the museums that house projects designed by the agency were presented with a European Museum of the Year Award: Naturalis (The Netherlands) in 2021 and the Stapferhaus (Switzerland) in 2020.