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Muziekwerf: a place dedicated to music

In a post-war former Mennonite church in Rotterdam, work is underway to transform the brutalist building into a space for music rehearsals and performances

Powerhouse Company

Muziekwerf Rotterdam Powerhouse Company
By Editorial Staff -

Built in 1951, what was Rotterdam’s last Mennonite church still stands just beyond the city’s lively Hofplein square with its large fountain. Based on a plan by Powerhouse Company for philanthropic foundation Droom en Daad, this small but striking post-war building is in the process of becoming Muziekwerf, a place dedicated to music rehearsals and performances. When work is completed, ensembles ranging from youth orchestras to pop choirs will be able to practice and perform within its walls.

Powerhouse Company - Muziekwerf Photo ©Sebastian van Damme, courtesy Powerhouse Company


The warmth of wood balancing the severity of concrete

The plastered concrete structure of the building’s large main space, previously used for services, will form the backdrop to a new concert hall. The elegant chandeliers will be restored and the 1957 Flentrop organ will be retained and made available to young musicians. Velvet curtains will be hung in the large windows, which, together with the light colored oak floors and sound absorbing panels, will surround the musicians in a warm embrace. These elements are also intended to be a subtle reference to the wooden pews that once occupied the space.

Powerhouse Company - Muziekwerf Rendering ©Powerhouse Company

The acoustics of the concert hall have been improved using timber 3D acoustic wall panels to better distribute sound waves. Triangular elements that connect the windows to the ceiling reflect the sun’s rays off a nearby canal and bring natural light into the room. A palette of soft colors, such as ochre, pastel pink, silver, a very light mint green, and petrol blue, were chosen for the project. Combinations of new and existing materials, transparent and opaque elements, give depth to the space.

Contrasting with the brutalist style of the concert hall, the other rooms of Muziekwerf have a softer, lighter feel. Here, light oak combines with existing timber elements and brass chandeliers. The old pews were reused as wall paneling in the foyer, while the windows have been enlarged to strengthen the connection with the public square outside, opening this hitherto hidden jewel to the city.


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Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Status: under construction
Area: 930 m²
Client: Droom en Daad
Architect: Powerhouse Company
Partner in charge: Nanne de Ru 

Structures: BREED Integrated Design
Climate and Building Physics: Wolf Dikken adviseurs
Fire Safety and Electrical Engineering: Royal HaskoningDHV
Lighting: Beersnielsen
Cost Consultant: SkaaL

Rendering © Powerhouse Company
Photos © Sebastian van Damme
All images courtesy of Powerhouse Company


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