About the Poortgebouw
Stieltjesstraat 38 - 3071 JX Rotterdam Netherlands
Richard van der Klaauw [METRO]
Poortgebouw” is the name of an
extraordinary 19th century building, a national monument in
Rotterdam’s Kop van Zuid district located on the south bank
of the river Maas. Today, the name is equally connected to the collective
of 30 inhabitants organised as members of an association (vereniging)
established in 1982.... more
article written in 2007, which summarises the 28 year history of the
Poortgebouw Inhabitants Association and focuses on the recent crisis
situation with the private owner and the development of a vision
document to sustain the social and cultural functions in the
Poortgebouw. read article
to house the head administrative office for Rotterdamsche Handelsvereniging,
the building was completed in 1879 when the founder of the RHV Lodewijk
Pincoffs went bankrupt and fled the country to the United States.
In the following 120 years, the building would be adapted to fit
the needs of the various users and the everchanging surroundings...
merchants were at first hesitant to enter the Industrial Age, but
in the 1860’s they discovered they could profit off the River
Maas’ connection with the Rhine. The city council decided to
exploit this position by developing the south bank into harbour
terrain (1863) and the dredging of the Nieuwe Waterweg (1866) connection
from Rotterdam to the North Sea. From 1870 onwards the local government
started an investment programme, pushed forward by Lodewijk Pincoffs,
a successful merchant and wealthy member of the city council...
Friday night, October 3. 1980, the Poortgebouw was squatted. The
building had been left abandoned —like so many others in the
city— unavailable for legal alternative uses with the exception
of a publicly-rejected plan for an Eroscentrum (1979). In Holland,
it was (again) a time of a desperate shortage of affordable housing...
EEN BEETJE MINDER ROTTERDAM?