Standing 151 meters tall, “Delftse Poort” is one of the most imposing high-rises in the heart of Rotterdam. The ensemble, consisting of two towers linked by an underlying podium, was designed in 1992 by Dutch architect Abe Bonnema and until six years ago was the tallest edifice in the famous port. In 2012 the international real-estate developer CBRE was commissioned to upgrade the property. CBRE opted to open up “Delftse Poort”, brought new tenants on board, and made the ground floor a public space – upholding an inviting interior design, among other things with sand-colored floor tiles by Mosa, which now make the lobby look bright and friendly.
Now, 23 years after they were built, the two office towers with their strictly geometrical outline are still impressive, yet at the same time seemed heavy and not particularly welcoming to visitors. Previously the Dutch insurance company Nationale-Nederlanden was the sole tenant; the new concept by CBRE envisages the integration of other companies as well as restaurants and retail stores. The ground floor and entrance hall in particular are key elements for the new concept – interior designer and Creative Director at CBRE Ramon Beijen designed the spacious areas with friendly materials such as wood, textiles and ceramic. Red-coated installations such as sculptural walls and a mini pavilion serving as a kiosk catch the eye. Comfortable upholstered benches, light, wooden-clad walls and the subtle use of greenery create an appealing atmosphere and form a pleasing contrast to the suspended metal grid ceilings. Particularly the flooring in the foyer and the corridors needed to be warm yet robust – leading Beijen to opt for tiles by the traditional Dutch company Mosa. The sand-colored ceramic tiles from the “Mosa Solids” collection with the generous dimensions 60 x 60 cm have now replaced the granite floor. With their shimmering earthy tones and slightly varying surface pattern the tiles lend the floor a dynamic structure without seeming obtrusive. Moreover, the tiles form a homogeneous, continuous surface; the joins are especially thin and thus barely perceptible to the eye. The Maastricht-based ceramic tile manufacturer supported the interior designer through all phases of the project, from the planning to the final execution. Beijen comments: “Ceramic tiles reflect the light particularly well and emit a tangible warmth. The warmth offered by “Solids” perfectly fits in with our concept of a sustainable and robust floor with a matte finish. […] Now architecture and interior decoration are in balance.”
No false modesty: Although from the outside the high-rise ensemble seems self-contained, the interior designers at CBRE made the public zones inside warm and inviting. Photo © Koninklijke Mosa bv
For the 5,000-square-meter floor, Creative Director Ramon Beijen used light-colored tiles from the “Solids” collection by Mosa installed. Photo © Koninklijke Mosa bv
The “Solids” reflect warm light, especially in spaces that receive plenty of daylight. Thanks to the tiled floor, even large, open areas such as stairways and corridors seem warm and inviting. Photo © Koninklijke Mosa bv
Homogeneous design: Owing to particularly thin joins, the floor seems to form one continuous ceramic skin. Bright red wall panels and chairs provide a pleasant contrast to the sand-colored tiles. Photo © Koninklijke Mosa bv
The robust tiles are available in many formats, including the generously sized 60 x 60 cm version. Architects can really go to town with this collection; the “Solids” come in 12 different colors. Photo © Koninklijke Mosa bv