Chief Superintendent of police H.M.C.A. Staal hammered the final blows on the first pile of the new police station under construction at Marconiplein. Three floors in height, this first new station to be built since the war will form one of the sides of Marconiplein. Its facade measures 57 metres in width, with a side wing of 25 metres along Schiedamseweg. The station will house the fifth police division, now based on Rochussenstraat. Apart from the usual facilities, the officers of this division will have at their disposal ten detention rooms and six garages. The architect of the Public Works Department, Leo Voskuyl, designed this building, which will cost one and a quarter of a million guilders.
Het Vrĳe Volk 23, May 1956
From 1944 on, the police station for Rotterdam-West had been housed in a rented building on Rochussenstraat. Not only was the accommodation inadequate, but the building was also outside the area covered by the fifth division, located to the west of Delfshavense Schie and Coolhaven. This made it difficult to properly carry out police duties in the area, even with a small police post in the middle of Marconiplein. So a new station was badly needed
The building closes the tip of the wedge-shaped district of Bospolder, where Schiedamseweg and Hudsonstraat converge. The building matches the surrounding residential development in height and scale, but it deviates architecturally. Striking features include two huge artworks on the facade, by Kees Timmer on Schiedamseweg and lan Pieters above the main entrance.
The new police station at Marconiplein opened yesterday with a festive display, in the presence of a large crowd of invitees and with plenty of kind and appreciative words. The ‘Hermandad’ police band performed in front of the building while hundreds of curious onlookers surrounded the square near the main entrance. Mayor Van Walsum performed the opening ceremony in the spacious and convivial police workspace on the first floor. His audience included dozens of police officers, the president of the district court, the public prosecutor, representatives of religious congregations and of many organizations and societies in the western part of the city.
The managing director of the Public Works Department, J.A.C. Tillema, and the chief superintendent of police, H.M.C.A. Staal, expressed their delight with this splendid new station. Tillema commented: “I hope it will be to the satisfaction of all users, including detainees."
Het Vrĳe Volk, 16 April 1958
Decorative facade with 60 concrete panels
The main entrance to the building is positioned asymmetrically on Hudsonstraat. Embellished by a concrete canopy with a balcony, the entrance is flanked by two freestanding columns and an artwork by Ian Pieters (1925) from Rhoon. The battle between a centaur and a warrior represents the struggle between good and evil. The decorative scene by Kees Timmer (1903-1978) on the short facade to Schiedamseweg features a hand, a white cat, two children playing with a ball, a building, and two heads. They represent the police force’s duty to protect the public. The decorative facade is 64 m2 and consists of 60 concrete panels.
The long facade of the L-shaped building features a gentle and elegant curve. An elongated glazed volume projects from the facade, adding a touch of distinction to the offices of the police inspectors and investigators inside. The third floor at the top housed an archive, weapon store and dormitory. Contained in the basement were technical installations, a garage and a number of ‘drunk tanks’, where inebriated arrestees could sleep off their intoxication.
The building is typical of the 1950s with its brickwork details, decorative concrete components, natural stone plinth, timber frames and metal railings. Municipal architect Leo Voskuyl (1899-1964) was no revolutionary innovator but a reliable architect who made use of contemporary materials and techniques.
When the police station became too cramped, a completely new building was constructed in 1991 as an extension. In 2002 the original building was renovated and extended by Wytze Patijn. He opted for an almost exact copy of the original. The building is now a municipal monument. The station appears frequently in the television series Flikken Rotterdam, but the scenes are filmed on a set in … Amsterdam.