These days, the appreciation of the inner city of Rotterdam varies. In a number of places it is worn. The next layer of history is presenting itself, judging from the numerous demolition projects and new developments. Consequently, a historical stratification unique for the Netherlands will ensue. Rotterdam possesses important twentieth century heritage sites. But is it possible to make room for these without renouncing the proverbial Rotterdam dynamics?
The discussion regarding the future of the Lijnbaan ensemble – a post-war shopping area which in 2010 gained national monument status and which still has a surprisingly modern feel - is closely linked with the discussion on Rotterdam’s cultural heritage. Rotterdam emphatically regards that heritage as a trump card for area development. Lijnbaan also represents an important cultural heritage value, but will in the future not escape transformation. Therefore, the question is not whether change is possible for the Lijnbaan ensemble, but what the nature of that change should be.
The report focuses on the structure of the ensemble and its component parts, distinguishing three levels of scale: the Lijnbaan ensemble in the urban context of the Lijnbaan Quarter, the ensemble as an entity, and its component parts. It has been accurately ascertained which spatial elements determine the cultural heritage qualities of the Lijnbaan shops and the Lijnbaan courts. Accordingly, the cultural heritage appreciation is spatially expressed and it has become clear where there is room for change and which qualities are at issue in respect of particular proposals.
The study does not comment upon the precise balance between renovation and retention, but it does offer background information and a frame of reference for discussion and as a basis for choices to be made.
Cultural heritage valuation shops
The developments in the retail sector again and again require adjustments, such as increases in scale and different ways of dispatch. How can this be made to fit in with the monument status of Lijnbaan and how can interventions contribute positively to the ‘historical’ meaning of Lijnbaan? To answer such questions, SteenhuisMeurs carried out an analysis and valuation for Lijnbaan 56 (commissioned by Diesel Benelux), 61 and 72-74 (Syntrus Achmea), 77 (ASR vastgoed) and Karel Doormanstraat 278 (Claus&Kaan architects). This has created a framework for these shops in which the cultural heritage values are set out – building substance, structure, concept.