The cube-shaped building on Delftsestraat was designed in 1954 by the eminent Rotterdam architect Hugh Maaskant.
Rotterdam is continually evolving. The city is famed for its great diversity of 20th-century architecture as well as its newer ultramodern structures.In each issue, we shine a spotlight on one of Rotterdam Central District’s iconic buildings. This time, on the Boekman building. The cube-shaped building on Delftsestraat was designed in 1954 by the eminent Rotterdam architect Hugh Maaskant. Part of the Schiekadeblok, it has seen many new occupants and configurations come and go, from office premises plus venue centre to espresso bar to hamburger joint..
Originally, the building was home to the offices of A. Boek - man & Sons, Klingelnberg-Klauss and a conference centre. The Boekman firm, specializing in tableware, glass, crys - tal and porcelain, was on the first floor. Woodworking machine wholesaler Klingelnberg-Klauss occupied spaces on the first and second floors and had a showroom off Delftseplein. The top two storeys housed a conference centre designed by architect H.A. Maaskant. Separated by wide corridors, each of the conference rooms could accommodate up to 150 people. As well as acoustic ceiling panels, the rooms were equipped with a custom-designed sound system. The ground floor was used for shipping and storage. Two works of art by Bas van der Smit were on display in the building, ‘Bomenrooiers’ in the sales area and ‘havenarbeiders’ in the showroom, which unfortunately seem to have disappeared.
CHANGES TO THE PRESENT DAY
Boekman was first to leave the building, followed by the conference centre, which relocated to Henegouwerlaan in Rotterdam in 1965. The Klingelnberg showroom and offices remained several years longer. Subsequently, the building was converted into a telegraph of - fice for the PTT state postal and telegraph service. After the PTT moved out in 1980, the building was leased to a variety of businesses. Plans to replace the building with a hotel fell through. A succession of cafés and restaurants gradually clustered in the building. After the Lungo espresso bar left in 2015, hamburger joint Burgertrut moved in in 2017. To read more about this building, take a look at wederopbouwrotterdam.nl