Sam de Clercq
Garden Village Heyplaat
In 1902 the Rotterdam Dockyard Company (RDM) began its career with a new wharf at Heijplaat. There were two dry docks of 90 and 135 metres long. Ship repairs were the main bill of fare, although the spectacular likes of the Nieuw Amsterdam (1937) and the Rotterdam (1959) were built here. Seven thousand people were employed here in the 1970s. The wharf was part of the Rijn-Schelde-Verolme (RSV) concern, which went bankrupt in 1983. The reshuffled, trimmed-down RDM went the same way in 2004. Its former headquarters, a somewhat somber brick edifice dating from 1917, has a surprisingly breezy Art Deco interior with an attractive hall, leaded windows, a very fine director's suite and art works of all kinds that recall the building's illustrious past. Today the RDM area with its facilities for education and conferences, offices and artists' studios, is dedicated to encouraging creative activity.