For those not in the know, the name ‘Central District’ conjures visions of chock-a-block offices. But nothing could be further from the truth! Scores of people call RCD home and wouldn’t have it any other way. Once settled in RCD, few ever want to leave. Take Sander de Breuk and Lara Schrijver, for example. They graciously invited RCD Magazine around to visit their homes and told us all about living in Rotterdam Central District.
Did you ever imagine yourself living in RCD?
Lara: “After living in different places in the city for 25 years, I knew I wanted to stay in Rotterdam, but hadn’t thought to settle in a flat. Having three kids, I was stuck in a search for a small family home. It was my first viewing of a Maastoren flat that opened my eyes, and after that I was sold as soon as I saw this round tower on Weena. Now, I’ve been happily living here for four years.”
Sander: “When I moved into this Weena tower 21 years ago, it was meant to be temporary. As you can see, I never left. The Rotterdam mindset, that forthrightness, suits me well and so I felt right at home.”
What is it like to live here?
L: “Being in the city centre is so convenient. Despite a busy lifestyle and three kids, running a quick errand is always easy with everything so nearby. For me, as an architecture professor in Antwerp, it’s ideal to have the central railway station so close. I did sort of miss having a garden, but a holiday cottage by the sea and afternoons at the lake in Kralingen make up for that.”
S: “For me, it’s about the comfort of being in the city. I’m surrounded by urban life. I love all the sounds of the city: the trains, the people, the traffic. The diversity is fun, too. Loads of young people are attracted to the creative development area near here as that’s the part of RCD where it all happens. The constant changes are great.”
What’s your favourite spot at home?
L: “The wall of windows in my living room is fantastic. Light enters in so many ways. During spectacular thunderstorms it’s breathtaking, at sunrise you see the city come to life and on a dark winter’s morning I can gaze at the Brienennoord bridge in the distance, where you see the car headlamps flash by. My favourite spot is reading in my chair beside the right-most window.”
S: “The lounge is a real gem. I can unwind while losing myself in the view. I love being anyplace with a good view. Whether I’m at the dining room table whilst I’m working, or on the swivel chair by the window: the view is like a painting to me.”
Do you have a favourite object?
L: “I love all my artworks, really. Many are by artists from Rotterdam. In the living room I’ve got Pim Palsgraaf, Anne van Toor and Silas Schletterer. And my rug is Bauhaus, reworked by Bas van Beek, a fantastic designer and close friend.”
S: “I love beautiful things and art. I get a lot of pleasure from the family and other works of art on the walls. My favourite painting is by the Rotterdam-based artist Nazif Lopulissa.”
Which are your favourite places to go in RCD?
L: “I enjoy going to the cinema, which sometimes coincides with my job. And I go to Bird and Annabel a lot, for the good vibes and live music. In summer, I like going to the Weena Café to watch the endless stream of people and cars going by.”
S: “I tend to meet with people at the Weena Café and I like going to all the fun and creative spots like Biergarten. I’ve also been going out for lots of walks with friends recently and we’ll stop at Central Station to explore the city from there. I miss the Suicide Club; that was a real hotspot.”