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McDonald’s Coolsingel 44

McDonald’s invited Mei architects and planners to design a new pavilion on this spot with a character in keeping with the (renewed) Coolsingel and the rich historical surroundings. After a very fast construction time of two months a spectaculair new pavilion now shines in the heart of Rotterdam. Use of perforated screens are an adaptable and durable way of creating a distinctive visual identity or dramatic design element.

McDonalds-Coolsingel-44-By-Mei-architects-and-planners-02-Jeroen-Musch-759x487 McDonald's Coolsingel 44 / Mei architects and planners

© Jeroen Musch

This McDonald’s restaurant featuring a perforated golden facade and a grand spiral staircase was designed by Dutch firm Mei Architects to replace “the ugliest building in Rotterdam, Netherlands”. The former kiosk in the famous Coolsingel neighborhood is now a glowing pavilion, with a majority of exterior glazed and providing views through the structure.

McDonalds-Coolsingel-44-By-Mei-architects-and-planners-05-Mei-architects-759x511 McDonald's Coolsingel 44 / Mei architects and planners

© Mei architects

Like the historical buildings in the area, the pavilion features a richly articulated façade, carried out in one single material: gold anodized aluminum. With the application of various degrees of perforation, the façade depicts a crowd of people on Coolsingel, representing the community in which it is built. The structure therefore transforms from day to night, glowing to showcase the perforated image.

McDonalds-Coolsingel-44-By-Mei-architects-and-planners-04-Jeroen-Musch-759x259 McDonald's Coolsingel 44 / Mei architects and planners

© Jeroen Musch

Mei architects and planners:

After a very fast construction period of only two months a spectaculair new pavilion shines in the heart of Rotterdam. Mei architects and planners designed this new McDonald’s pavilion on Coolsingel Rotterdam. The former kiosk was once voted the ugliest building in Rotterdam and no longer reflected the wishes and ambitions of either McDonald’s and the city of Rotterdam.

McDonalds-Coolsingel-44-By-Mei-architects-and-planners-08-Jeroen-Musch-759x487 McDonald's Coolsingel 44 / Mei architects and planners

© Jeroen Musch

Rotterdam has recently showed up in the top 10 of ‘places to go’ of the New York Times and the Rough Guide. This new pavilion is an architectural masterpiece that adds to the series of Market Hall, Central Station and Fenix ​​Food Factory. It is a welcome asset to Rotterdam, the city of architecture.

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© McDonald’s Coolsingel

Connection with the city:

The new building volume has been carefully detailed and articulated by Mei to open up views of the monumental post office behind it. As a result, the pavilion has the most compact possible core, with glazed façades all around. A fully transparent lobby, with entrances on three sides, makes it seem as though the public space flows through the building.

To strengthen the connection between the pavilion and its surroundings, the outdoor terrace will feature the same furniture found in other public spaces in the city of Rotterdam.

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© Jeroen Musch

View of the Coolsingel:

Counter and kitchen are located on the ground floor. A one piece steel spiral staircase leads from the lobby to the seating area on the first floor. From here the visitors have a beautiful panorama view overlooking the Coolsingel.

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© Ossip Van Duivenbode

A shining pavilion — day and by night:

Just like the historical buildings in the area, the pavilion features a richly articulated façade, carried out in one single material: gold anodized aluminum. This warm and elegant-looking material is vandal-proof and enduring at the same time.

McDonalds-Coolsingel-44-By-Mei-architects-and-planners-29-McDonalds-Coolsingel-759x745 McDonald's Coolsingel 44 / Mei architects and planners

© McDonald’s Coolsingel

As McDonald’s is open day and night (24/7), its appearance after dark is important. By day the building is inviting to shoppers, while in the evening it glows to attract the nightlife crowd. The skin of brass is perforated with heart-shaped openings to form a ‘veil’ around the glazed building through which illumination shines. With the application of various degrees of perforation, the brass façade depicts a crowd of people on Coolsingel. After all, the new McDonald’s is built for the people of Rotterdam, who now have yet another reason to be proud of their city.

McDonalds-Coolsingel-44-By-Mei-architects-and-planners-38-Jeroen-Musch-759x487 McDonald's Coolsingel 44 / Mei architects and planners

© Jeroen Musch

Integrated power boxes:

The various power boxes for utilities and traffic regulation systems, always an eyesore on the street, are integrated into the building. Moreover, the incorporation of illumination into the façade will enhance safety on the street. Technical installations are integrated within the roof, which is designed as a fifth façade.

McDonalds-Coolsingel-44-By-Mei-architects-and-planners-42-Frank-Hanswijk-759x484 McDonald's Coolsingel 44 / Mei architects and planners

© Frank Hanswijk

Project Data:

Project name: McDonald’s Coolsingel 44
Location: Coolsingel 44, 3011 AD Rotterdam, Netherlands
Coordinates: 51.921573, 4.479682
Type: Restaurant / Coffee shop / Cafe
Project Area: 300 sqm
Status: Built
Completion Date/Year: March 2015

Awards:

  • 2016 – The German Design Council Award – German Design Award – Category: Excellent Communications Design > Architecture – Winner
  • 2015 – Iconic Awards – Category: Architecture – Winner
  • 2015 – ARC Awards – ARC15 Detail Award – nominee

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: McDonald’s Coolsingel 44
Architects: Mei architects and planners – Schiehavenkade 522, 3024 EZ Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Project Team: Robert Winkel , Menno van der Woude , Michiel van Loon , Robert Platje , Ruben Aalbersberg
Builder: BVR Groep, Roosendaal
Structural engineer: Adviesbureau Roelen, Eersel
MEP: Sweegers & de Bruijn, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Façade: Glasimpex, Schiedam, VPT Versteeg , Heusden
Stairs: WV trappen, Nijkerk
Fire safety: Grontmij, Rotterdam
Interior design: NivOO3, Gent, BELGIE
Text Description: © Courtesy of Mei architects and planners
Images: © Mei architects and planners, Jeroen Musch, Ossip Van Duivenbode, Frank Hanswijk

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