Request for Proposal

Extensive upgrade for Rotterdam Ahoy Exhibition and Event Halls

Extensive upgrade for Rotterdam Ahoy Exhibition and Event Halls

Extensive upgrade for Rotterdam Ahoy Exhibition and Event Halls

22 November 2018

One of the biggest Hart van Zuid projects is not very well known, despite the many millions that have been invested in it and the benefits it has created for the owner, user and neighbourhood. 'A hall is a hall’ stated Corine Dijkhuizen, Manager Facility Services at Rotterdam Ahoy. Although that’s a rather down-to-earth response, there’s a lot to be proud of with this project.


Corine was involved in the upgrade of halls 2 to 6 of the Rotterdam Ahoy Exhibition and Event Halls between 2016 and mid-2018. And this was while dozens of events were being held in these halls. 'It required a lot of coordination points, sometimes multiple times a day, between Ahoy, our customers, the municipality, sub-contractors and the project team, The Hart van Zuid project. Everyone needed to respond flexibly to find a solution each time.’ The changes have resulted in the halls now being more sustainable, sound-proofed, comfortable and attractive. Corine: 'Everyone benefits from this: our visitors, organisers and, let’s not forget, our neighbours.’

The upgrade of the over 40-year-old hall was not an unnecessary luxury. It included such things as a total ventilation system replacement. 'This enables us to heat or cool the halls using a heat recovery system’, explained Lars van Vliet, Coordinator of Electrics and Mechanics at Ahoy. The halls can also be sectioned off using 6-metre-high panel walls, which weigh some 600 kg each due to their sound insulating properties. Corine: 'We can host different events next to each other without these disturbing each other.’ All lighting has also been replaced with LED lighting. Lars: 'A total of two kilometres of line lighting was installed.’


The reuse of existing real estate forms part of the sustainable approach, in addition to measures to improve energy performance. Real estate developer Hiddo den Hartog from the Municipality of Rotterdam joined the discussion. Hiddo: 'The halls were at the end of the standard real estate cycle and required considerable investment to safeguard their future viability. We did this by increasing the usable area without increasing the size of the building.’ The upgrade has also benefitted the neighbourhood. Hiddo: 'Many people don’t realise that the halls are now much better insulated and that Hall 2 even has a soundproofed roof. They could organise an indoor music festival here, without disturbing any local residents.’

Huge challenge
Structural modifications have also taken place in addition to the facade facelift. For instance, the load-bearing corridor that once ran across all halls has been demolished. Corine: 'Demolishing the corridor was a huge project. The halls’ load-bearing construction needed to be modified in various places before the corridor could be removed. Various internal passageways were also heightened to 6 metres. This has provided extra metres of hireable exhibition area, and trucks can drive around here.’

As the project required particularly good cooperation, this resulted in the halls being delivered six months prior to the deadline and every single detail being coordinated. Corine: 'We used our operational knowledge and sometimes even worked together to agree on small details; such things as which height the hand soap dispensers needed to be, the easiest way to mop down the toilets and much, much more.’ She added, smiling: 'Maybe in our case a hall isn’t just a hall ..... Ours is now comfortable, versatile, sustainable, sleek and a neutral grey. Many shades of grey. Our halls provide the perfect canvas for every exhibition or event organiser.’

Fun facts

  • 1,532 drawings used
  • 65 sub-contractors (plasterers, electricians, painters etc)
  • 60 produced and completed work plans
  • 5,625 m sprinkler piping in the roof
  • 350 metres of panel wall
  • 2 km line lighting (LED)

copyright the Hart van Zuid project