The building of Erasmus University College is the magnificently restored former library of Rotterdam, located at Nieuwemarkt 1A. As one of the few buildings to survive the second World War, it has great historic significance. In its new destiny, it will be home to up to 700 students and staff members of Erasmus University College.
Construction of the Central Library of Rotterdam began in 1917 and finished in 1923. The building was designed by D.B. Logemann (1884-1964) with the help of Nicolaas Lansdorp (1885-1968) and Johannes Poot (1892-1976). The design of the building was influenced by the building style of the ‘Amsterdamse School’, with a lot of decorative brickwork, a tower, and the luxurious interior woodwork and natural stonework typical of the time.
Below you can find some pictures of the newly renovated building of Erasmus University College.
The building somehow escaped destruction in the infamous bombardment of Rotterdam in 1940, though it did lose its bell tower in the aftermath. As one of very few remaining buildings in the city centre, the Central Library played host to the city planners that were tasked with rebuilding Rotterdam.
In 2011, the City of Rotterdam and Erasmus University agreed on a plan to bring the energy of the university to the city centre and announced the coming of Erasmus University College to the building. A challenging renovation programme began in the summer of 2012 following the design of architect Erick van Egeraat, with the goal of transforming the landmark in to a cutting-edge educational facility. In the multiyear process, the design team continued to uncover gems of design and construction that had been covered up during the building’s years of varied use; all have now been lovingly restored. In 2014, the first Erasmus University College students started their academic career in Nieuwemarkt, once again restored to its original mission of sharing knowledge.
Below you can find some historical pictures of the building of Erasmus University College.
Some highlights of the building:
- An asymmetrically placed entrance decorated with columns and a balcony overlooking the Nieuwemarkt square.
- Original stained glass panel of museum quality atop the main entrance, showcasing Rotterdam’s coat of arms.
- Grand reception area on the ground floor with new marbled floor and restored, wood coffered ceiling.
- Formal meeting rooms, with original wood panelling, marble fireplace and light fixture forgings, designed by a young Gispen.
- Original windows and unique shape of the Erasmus-zaal (Erasmus Hall), thus named as it once housed the original manuscripts of the great philosopher and humanist Desiderius Erasmus (also namesake of Erasmus University and Erasmus University College)
- 3 from 6. The original six floors in the book depository depot have been reduced to three to allow for large, high-ceilinged study ‘landscapes.’ The LED-illuminated lines on the walls and columns reference the original floor lines.
- 18 meters of glass. The glass-walled and –roofed atrium and two glass elevators allow transparency and natural on all floors.
- 19 for 10. There are 19 purpose-built, high-tech tutorial rooms all with their own design, tailor-made for EUC’s tutorial approach to higher education in which students learn in groups of 10 on average.
- A new, old façade. An exact replica of the original glass façade across the entire Northeast side provides a clear view of the areas where once the library and thereafter the museum housed their collections.