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Air Offices


As early as 1941, the Vroom en Dreesmann management commissioned the Kraaijvanger brothers to design the new department store. The completed design and construction on Hoogstraat took place between 1947 and 1950. The department store had a catalyzing effect on its surroundings which was soon followed by the construction of Peek & Cloppenburg, C&A, Voss, Lampe, De Hema and Jungerhans, among others.

The building was designed for growth; construction was planned for a volume of 8 stories high. The business risk was still too great at that time, so 2 floors and a basement were eventually built. Thus, the building was not yet finished. Fearing that the building would look like a flat box, a floating roof was installed on top of the second floor to simulate additional height. So the building was oriented and built for future expansion.

The completed plan had already undergone a major overhaul in the late 1950s. One additional floor was added and the white brick facade disappeared behind a curtain wall. Later in the late 1990s, the property was remodeled again with yet another additional floor. In 2017, the now bankrupt Vroom and Dreesmann was acquired by Canada's Hudson's Bay, they replaced the gray natural stone facade for a white marble one.


In 2021, WOMO Architects created a design to transform the department store into offices, retail and hospitality.AIR Offices. An adaptive reuse project that transforms the building into a mixed-use complex with offices, retail and hospitality to support the changing social and economic needs of Rotterdam's city center. The design is BREEAM-Excellent certified and is expected to achieve WELL-Gold and WiredScore-Gold.

Technical architect

Where shoppers strolled for decades, office workers will soon be working.

After more than 70 years, the building is now getting its full size. Over the past year, owners Angelo Gordon, CAIRN and NEOO have been working with the municipality to shape their development plans. The recent expansion plans by Womo architects ism Kraaijvanger still fit the original vision of uplifting the mass, future-proofing the building and serving several generations. Thus, the design is still designed for growth and still matches the foresight of the Kraaijvanger brothers. Functionally, the closed facade sections on the first floor are reopened as in the original design. The first floor on Westewagenstraat, which over the years has become increasingly closed in character, will also be broken open. This fits well with the urban redevelopment of the street with 5 names as this long axis from the Hofplein to the Maas has now been named. Besides the stores on the first floor, there will be office spaces on the upper floors, which also fits in well with the current times in which department stores are often replaced by online stores. In the basement there will be a supermarket and bicycle storage. These developments ensure that this building can once again serve as a booster of revitalization for the area.

The transformation into an office will also be used to significantly open up the rather dense facades on Hoogstraat and Westewagenstraat. The new vertical window sections generously open up the facade. The vertical articulation fits nicely with the facades of the opposite Kraaijvanger designs on Hoogstraat of P&C, Lampe and blokker.

Besides transformation of the existing building layers, 2 new office layers will be realized with wide views over the entire city center. On the roof will be a pavilion with roof terrace overlooking Beursplein and Coolsingel.

BIM&BEYOND is responsible for the technical elaboration and BIM management.

Since it is the fourth renovation of an existing building, in the elaboration the existing situation and structural state is therefore of great importance. Especially the redesign of the existing facade is very complicated.

Womo Architects in collaboration with D/Dock and MOSS will realize the interior and green design respectively.


Air Offices






WOMO Architects, D/Dock (interieur)


LBPInsight (bouwfysica en brandveiligheid), Van Rossum Raadgevende ingenieurs (constructie), Drietech-Verhoef (installaties)


36.000 m2


2022 - 2023


bouwkundig architect TO/UO fase

"We denken in grote lijnen maar we leven in details" (Alfred N. Whitehead)