HOUSING AND SHOPS ROCHUSSENSTRAAT
MECANOO, 1993-1995, Eendrachtsplein/Rochussenstraat 1-23, Rotterdam
Two buildings by the Mecanoo group mark the entrance to Rochussenstraat. Both are zinc clad and illustrate the liberal deployment of materials, forms and ideas typifying this architectural practice, which was once heavily inspired by modernism. The elegant high rise of the Park Hotel extension stands free of the existing building and an earlier addition. The elongated mixed-use building on the north side of Rochussenstraat marks the termination of the Oude Westen district. There is nothing to be seen in the facades of this block's rationally disposed interior. Three storeys of office space to the west of the gateway have a greater floor-to-floor height than the flats. The upper two office storeys are given over to the Ronald McDonaldhuis, a 'home away from home' for the families of children receiving treatment at the nearby Sophia Children's Hospital. The eastern portion has gallery space on the ground floor and four upper storeys of flats. The rounded head end contains larger, more expensive private sector homes.