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Municipal Health Service Building (Swimming Centre Rotterdam)

The Municipal Health Service Building located near the mobility hub Zuidplein had been built because of the foreseen population growth in the South of Rotterdam. Today it is a swimming pool.

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The building of the Municipal Health Service roght after the opening.

Fototechnische Dienst, Stadsarchief Rotterdam, 1958

Amazing but true, the ultra-modern Rotterdam Swimming Centre is inserted into the shell of the former Municipal Health Service Building (GGD). A surprising choice by Kraaijvanger Architects, certainly in a city dominated by demolition and new development. The insertion blends harmoniously with the restored facades of the building designed by architect B. M. den Hollander of the Public Works Department.

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This new municipal health service building is a major asset, not just for the people of Rotterdam-South but for the developing district south of the river. From now on, all activities of our municipal health service will be concentrated in this district. The Emergency Station at Maashaven will close. Around 300,000 inhabitants of South will welcome the relocation to this fine new building. Construction cost a total of 4,651,000 guilders. The floor area is even 200 square metres larger than the municipal health service building in the city centre. So Rotterdam-South has every reason to be very pleased. The inhabitants will also enjoy the interior of the new building. Two elegant, very spacious waiting areas await them on the ground floor and first floor of the central volume, which connects the two wings.

Het Vrije Volk, 16 May 1958

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Two wings

The building for the Municipal Health Service was intended as a counterpart to the building constructed on Baan in the city centre in 1940. The location beside Zuidplein was of course chosen with future development in Rotterdam-South and good accessibility in mind. The building consisted of two identical wings, 70 metres long and 10 metres wide, with shared reception and waiting areas in between. Also in the middle was a garage for ambulances and cars.

The three-floor wings housed municipal and private organizations active in the area of healthcare, such as nursing services, a society dedicated to eradicating tuberculosis, a consultation office for alcoholism, an organization that promoted dental care in schools, a Rotterdam organization that took city children to the countryside for healthy holidays, an institute that treated skin and sexually transmitted diseases, the Pro Juventute charitable foundation, and a Rotterdam foundation that tackled rheumatism.

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2023 GGD Zwembad ML2
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Today

Architect Den Hollander went to town especially in the interior of the central volume, with glazed bricks and all sorts of decorative patterns. According to Het Rotterdamsch Parool, the ‘modern and efficient layout was aesthetically responsible everywhere’. Unfortunately, this volume was destroyed when the building was converted into municipal offices in the late 1980s. All that survived were the original facades of the building. On the metro station side, large areas of glazing now enclose hospitality areas. Owing to the redevelopment of the building, the swimming pool has an unusual layout: the pool itself is not located in the basement, as is usual, but on the ground floor. The entrance to the pool is therefore located on the first floor.

2023 GGD Zwembad ML1
2023 GGD Zwembad ML3
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Architect
B.M. den Hollander (Gemeentewerken)
Period
1954-1958
Location
Boerhaavestraat 19, Rotterdam, Nederland
Subjects
Buildings
Neighborhoods
Zuid Carnisse
Buildings
Business buildings