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The iconic Holbeinhuis gets a transformation

The iconic Holbeinhuis at the Coolsingel gets a renovation. Dutch insurer Athora Netherlands bought the office building in 2013 and has ambitious plans.

Erik Vester, Head of Real Estate & Alternative Fixed Income at Athora Netherlands: “The Holbeinhuis is situated at one of the most prominent locations in Rotterdam and deserves a renovation that will enable this first office building on the Coolsingel to get back on its feet for years to come. The renovation plans are a tangible example of how we are making our property portfolio sustainable and future-proof.”

Between 1951 and 1954, the Rotterdam architectural firm designed the Holbein House for the ‘Basler Transport Versicherungs Gesellschaft’. Now Kraaijvanger is creating a distinctive, contemporary, urban interior with a tough Rotterdam touch. Together with CBRE Development Services, they are turning the Holbeinhuis into a leading workplace for professional companies in Rotterdam where new users can move in from mid-2023 onwards. Leasing will be handled by CBRE Advisory & Transaction Services Office Rotterdam.

For Athora, this is therefore the perfect moment to invest in an office building at a prime location and thus give substance to its sustainability ambitions and investment strategy. “Renovating the building and making it more sustainable is in line with our sustainable investment strategy. In the Netherlands, we invest in offices, residential property and logistics. We aim for an optimal investment result in combination with a sustainability ambition. For offices, we invest only in properties that have an A-label or at least the potential to have such a label. In addition, we are making existing real estate more sustainable. The Holbeinhuis fits within this strategy for the full 100% and we are proud that with this investment we can give this characteristic building back its allure”, says Erik Vester.

The Holbeinhuis is a landmark in Rotterdam

David Hess, Architect and partner at Kraaijvanger: “Due to the many small renovations over the decades, a closed appearance had developed. We make the enormous basement accessible and usable. It becomes more suitable for multi-tenant use.” By adding voids, the basement, the ground floor and the mezzanine floor are spatially connected and a physical connection is created between the three building layers. This also creates a connection between the Coolsingel and the Sint-Luciastraat behind it. The current staircase connects to the mezzanine, thus creating a direct connection to the entrance. The building will become inviting again and will once more enter into a dialogue with the Coolsingel.

After the renovation, the Holbeinhuis will have nine high-quality office floors. In addition, upon completion, the office offers two roof terraces, a mezzanine with coffee facilities and landing areas. Flexible meeting facilities and meeting places in the basement, and a hospitable host.

“The Holbeinhuis is a landmark in Rotterdam,” said Its Bakker, Director of Development Services CBRE. “At this unique office location amidst the dynamism of the city, facilitating and unburdening the users is central. The classic building transforms into a sustainable, high-end office. With contemporary facilities and a cherished authentic character. We are very proud that we can make this great building ready for the future.”

Michel Blokland Associate Director Advisory & Transaction Services CBRE, “The renovated Holbeinhuis fits in perfectly with the increasing demand in the Rotterdam office market for quality office space, whereby the office must be a pleasant meeting place.” This will be the place on the Coolsingel that serves as a living room for enterprising Rotterdam. A welcoming workplace where working, meeting people and relaxing in the open air all merge effortlessly.

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