P. ZANSTRA (ZANSTRA DE CLERCQ ZUBLI & LAMMERTSMA), 1973-1976, Hofplein 20, Rotterdam
Kantoorgebouw Shell Rotterdam (uitbreiding) / Office Building Shell Rotterdam (extension) ( P. Zanstra (Zanstra De Clercq Zubli & Lammertsma) )
© 2007 Rook & Nagelkerke
The original Shell-building dates from the 1950s. It stands on stilts so that access to the former Hofplein railway station would be kept free. Stairs, lifts and sanitary facilities occupy the head ends of the building. In the southern head directors' offices, meeting rooms and lunchrooms look out over Coolsingel. The office zones began life with a curtain wall which was later replaced by blue-green mirror-glass; the heads are clad in Italian travertine panels.
The 26-storey tower designed by Zanstra De Clercq Zubli & Lammertsma, which was added later, has a cladding of precast concrete panels. The building was roundly criticized on delivery and even led to an embargo on the construction of offices and high-rise in the city centre. But only a temporary embargo, as the tower can now be regarded as the first stage in the programme to consolidate the centre with high-rise.