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Rozet cultural center

Neutelings Riedijk

Rozet cultural center
By Michael Webb -

Another Rotterdam partnership, of Willem Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk, has created a succession of memorable public buildings. In Hilversum, the Institute of Sound and Vision (THE PLAN 019) expresses its role as an audio-visual archive and showcase with a vibrant glass façade that pulls multi-colored light into a lofty atrium, which steps down to the storage vaults. The architects took advantage of solid ground; in much of the Netherlands, the water level is so high that multi-level basements are prohibitively costly.
In Antwerp, the firm designed MAS (THE PLAN 046) a civic museum in which the galleries are stacked and rotated, clad in red sandstone, and separated by a spiraling band of wavy glass that lights the ascent. At every level you have a treasure chest that contains some aspect of the city’s history and a view from each side in turn over the townscape of today. That concept of a public route extending through a cultural building to link it to the life of the community is exemplified in the giant inner stair that bisects a library complex now under construction in Amersfoort.
A similar spinal stair carries the residents of Arnhem through the newly completed Neutelings Riedijk project called Rozet. The trapezoidal site is part of the central route that links the station to the central Kerkplein. Its multiple role as library, heritage center, art education complex, and community college makes Rozet a vital public amenity; it even offers free literacy courses and is part of a national network of libraries. “There’s a tendency to exclude undesirables from privatized spaces such as malls,” observes Neutelings. “Libraries have a far broader role than reading and borrowing books; they are one of the last civic spaces in Western society, a place where everyone is welcome. In all our libraries, we emphasize that spirit of inclusivity, creating a hierarchy of open spaces for gathering and small pockets for...

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