Ground has been broken on the Fenix Museum of Migration in Rotterdam, a project commissioned by the philanthropic Droom en Daad Foundation and designed by China’s Mad Architects.
Located in what was once the world’s largest warehouse, the development’s ground floor will include space for creatives, restaurants and culture, and a dramatic spiral staircase will lead to a viewing platform on the roof.
The project, Mad’s first cultural scheme in Europe, retains the warehouse’s green steel windows and the concrete structure, but removes the facade and roof and replaces them with with glass curtain walls and ceilings. The glazing also offers an uninterrupted frame for the scheme’s centerpiece staircase.
Wim Pijbes, Droom en Daad’s president, said: "What we want to show is that this is a universal story. People at some point of their lives make a decision, whether it’s forced by war, poverty, religious reasons or something else.
"They decide to put everything they have into one or two suitcases and to make this journey to a new world and start all over again. What we want to do is to understand the emotion and to show the emotion."
Ma Yansong, Mad Architects’ founder, said: "From a distance, the platform and staircase look like a single entity, but when it’s in front of you, it stands as a sculptural work that invites you to explore. It both signifies Fenix’s witnessing of Europe’s history of migration from the port, and symbolises the future of the city."
Following its completion the development will house an exhibition on movement.
Images courtesy of Mad Architects