FENIX Museum of Migration

MAD's First Cultural Project in Europe Rotterdam / Netherlands / 2024

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6 Love 283 Visits Published

Built in 1923, The Fenix warehouse was once the largest warehouse in the world. Its location on the Katendrecht Peninsula has been an important port of immigration in European history. Throughout the past century, the Fenix warehouse has been entwined with the history of Rotterdam, including destruction during World War II, and multiple repairs in the 1940s and 1950s.


MAD’s renovation of the Fenix warehouse connects the history of Rotterdam with the present. MAD’s founder Ma Yansong 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 the Fenix’s witnessing of Europe’s history of migration from the port, and symbolizes the future of the city.”[1]


To preserve the building’s historical legacy, MAD’s renovation embraces the iconic green steel windows and the concrete structure of the Fenix warehouse. In the building’s center, the facade and roof are removed and replaced with glass curtain walls and ceilings, creating a flexible and accessible space. The extensive glazing also offers an uninterrupted frame for the scheme’s striking centerpiece staircase structure.


The new intervention sees two spiral staircases extend from the ground and form an observation deck at the top. Moving through the space with different rhythms, the staircases break down the massive scale of the original warehouse, adding more human-scale and intimate spaces. The stainless steel and wood materials used for the staircases contrast with the warehouse’s original concrete and steel materials, while also evoking the visitors’ imagination of boarding a ship.


The FENIX Museum of Migration is also integrated into the surrounding community with a high degree of accessibility, with public entrances from both the riverside and the city. The ground floor combines creativity, culture, and culinary spaces to offer diverse activities, and to make art a part of people’s daily lives. After its completion, the museum will hold an exhibition on the theme of "movement," with contemporary artworks and archives curated in collaboration with local and international art institutions.




[1]  “From Rotterdam, Many Left for A New Life”, New York Times, April 24, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/arts/from-rotterdam-many-left-for-a-new-life.html


[2] “MAD Unveils Plans for Fenix, Rotterdam’s Newest Cultural Foundation”, Wallpaper*, Dec 28, 2018. https://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/fenix-foundation-mad-architects-rotterdam.


[3] “From Rotterdam, Many Left for A New Life”, New York Times, April 24, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/arts/from-rotterdam-many-left-for-a-new-life.html


 


FENIX Museum of Migration
Rotterdam, Netherlands
2018 - 2024


Typology: Museum, Renovation
Site Area: 13,200 sqm
Ramp Area: 1,050 sqm
Height: 28.3 m


Principal Partners in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Associate Partner in Charge: Andrea D’Antrassi
Team: Neeraj Mahajan, Marco Gastoldi, Edgar Navarrete, Cievanard Nattabowonphal, Jordan Demer, Chen Yien, Yuki Ishigami, Pittayapa Suriyapee, Claudia Hertrich, Alessandro Fisalli


Client: Droom en Daad Foundation
Executive Architect: EGM
Monumental Architecture Renovation: Bureau Polderman
Construction Advisor: IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs
Steel Constructor: CSM Steelstructures
Cladding Constructor: Central Industry Group (CIG)
Lighting Consultant: Beersnielsen lichtontwerpers
Installation Design: Bosman Bedrijven
Installation Advisor: DWA
Building Physics Advisor: LBP Sight

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    Built in 1923, The Fenix warehouse was once the largest warehouse in the world. Its location on the Katendrecht Peninsula has been an important port of immigration in European history. Throughout the past century, the Fenix warehouse has been entwined with the history of Rotterdam, including destruction during World War II, and multiple repairs in the 1940s and 1950s. MAD’s renovation of the Fenix warehouse connects the history of Rotterdam with the present. MAD’s founder Ma...

    Project details
    • Year 2024
    • Work finished in 2024
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Museums
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