Rotterdam Ahoy was first opened by HRH Prince Claus at its current location over 47 years ago. Now, following the NN North Sea Jazz Festival, construction of a new Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre and RTM Stage is underway.
City councillor Adriaan Visser, Ahoy CEO Peter van der Veer and director of Heijmans Vastgoed Dick Laheij were present at the launch of construction of the new event and concert venue which, they say, will be operational starting from the fourth quarter of 2020. It will be designed by Kraaijvanger Architects.
“I am extremely proud that today, after years’ of preparation, we were finally able to allow construction to commence,” said van der Veer. “In January 2021 we will celebrate our 50th anniversary here at this wonderful new venue. I’m really looking forward to it!”
Rotterdam has become a more popular destination for (business) travellers in recent years, according to city councillor Visser. “The opening of the Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre will help the city grow further as a business hotspot and will cause more and more business guests to come to Rotterdam. This will cause an additional economic spin-off and employment opportunities for the city,” he said.
The new Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre will boast the largest auditorium in the Netherlands (seating capacity: 2,750). The event venue will spread over four floors and feature 35 rooms that can be subdivided or enlarged. It will provide direct access to Ahoy Plaza and the trade fair and event rooms.
RTM Stage, the largest room in the newly to be constructed building, will serve as an auditorium and theatre, but when seats are removed will serve as a concert hall for 7,000 people.
RTM Stage will allow for the further expansion of events such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament and maritime trade show Europort.
The renovation and enlargement of the Event & Exhibition Halls (which was completed ahead of schedule in May 2018) and the opening of the new event venue are part of the major Hart van Zuid area development. “This is a unique collaborative partnership in the Netherlands in which the local authorities, the business community, schools and local residents are joining hands to make the most of the area, in association with Ballast and Heijmans,” said Laheij.
The Hart van Zuid project is designed to improve the quality of life in the area surrounding Zuidplein Square. The project will lead to the creation of a pleasant and healthy environment, with ample room for leisure activities, work, housing, shopping and meeting places. The objective is to create a new and happening city centre in Rotterdam-Zuid.
Photos: Charles Batenburg
VR tour: www.ahoy.nl/vrtour
Promotional video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_BW8jYlv6U