• Date: 2015-jan 2017
  • Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Status: completed
  • Client: Annabel / Aziz Yagoub
  • Area: 2000 m2

The building which formerly housed the Hollywood Music Hall nightclub has been converted into a new entertainment complex. In its place a venue called Annabel is made up of a concert hall that can accommodate 1,200 visitors and a grand cafe that during performances serves as a lobby. At the Transport nightclub in the basement one can dance until the early morning. Outside, a large terrace on the Delftsehof, which remains pleasant long after sunset, marks the new entrance of the complex (earlier located in the narrow Delftsestraat behind).

A number of principles lead the design of the complex. The main principle in the design of Annabel is the removal of the boundary between inside and outside, between building and public space. Continuity in materialization, an exchange of elements between interior and exterior, and a highly transparent and permeable facade ensure that the lines between interior and exterior are blurred. For example, the carpet of concrete slabs on the terrace and in the cafe ignores the line of the façade. The supporting grid of columns and beams - the spatial and constructive structure of the reconstruction – extends out to the patio from the interior of the café. The grid, the size of which is determined in large part by a big tree, is mirrored to be found outside on the terrace.

Two guiding principles concern the flexible operation of the entertainment complex:

A key requirement from the client is that the complex can take on a variety of qualities: from a pleasant place to have lunch and a terrace on which to enjoy the afternoon sun - Annabel must - in the evening and overnight - turn into a full-fledged nightlife venue. For festivals (along with two other hangouts, Biergarten Rotterdam and BAR), Annabel makes the Delftsehof one of the most popular nightlife areas of Rotterdam) and a techno temple for the most fanatical night owls.

These requirements are translated into a multifunctional terrace above which a steel pergola carries a variety of technical installations and a grand cafe where most of the spatial quality is concentrated the large indoor tree. A series of black scissors fences makes sure that this area can separated from the concert venue. The grand cafe transforms into two separate spaces: a lobby that can handle large groups of concertgoers and a cozy petit cafe.

Het Transportbedrijf, (The Transport Company) in the basement is minimally designed: here light and sound define the space and atmosphere. Visitors enter through two huge steel doors and descend along  a five-meter wide stair into the basement. The club consists of two rooms: a dance hall and a spacious lobby where behind a translucent polycarbonate wall the shadow of the bar and toilets are part of the choreography of the entertainment.

The grand cafe and Het Transportbedrijf were completed in April 2015; The venue Annabel opened its doors in October 2015.

  • Principals-in-charge: Elma van Boxel & Kristian Koreman
  • Design Team: Kinga Bachem, Tim Peeters, Nadia Pepels, Willem Wopereis
  • Photography & Visuals: Denis Guzzo, Walter Herfst, ZUS
  • Client: Aziz Yagoub, Annabel
  • Partners: BIK Bouw, Jasper Sluimer, Blacon, IEP, Peutz, ReCool, Woodwave, Zonneveld