Restaurant & Bar
The building that houses Héroine, a fine dining restaurant & bar is a venerable modernist monument of Rotterdam’s post-war reconstruction era designed by Hugh Maaskant & Willem van Tijen. The building had been neglected for the last couple of decades before the current owner acquired it in 2015 and started a true renaissance of the modernist values that made the building great in the first place. We were honoured to be selected to design a restaurant & bar for a young, fearless trio of hospitality entrepreneurs in one of the most challenging spaces in ‘Het Industriegebouw’.
A large 270sqm space in a side wing of the building that had seen a fair amount of late 70’s and 80’s decay over time. Our aim from the start was to honour the origins of the building and strip the room back to its raw structural elements of concrete, metal window frames and open space floor plan as it was intended in the original design.
We were left with a big open space with many scars of the past which we decided to keep. From here we set out to create an opulent seventies atmosphere while firmly staying within the Modernist design tradition of the building. In the first place, this was inspired by the vibrant and stylistic cuisine of the executive Chef at Héroine, Mr Michael Schook, however, we also wanted to prove a point about the Modernist design idiom itself. Where most people think of the classical white cubic exploits of Le Corbusier and our Dutch hero Gerrit Rietveld, we couldn’t help conjure up the wood paneling, huge planters and decadent chrome of 1970’s Warren Platner. The result is a balanced mix of simplicity and drama, a juxtaposition of essential and opulent in both design, materials and finish to show that Modernism had another ace up its sleeve.
Photography: Romain Laprade
Project team: Marick Baars, Joeri Horstink, Jelle Baars, Annemieke Rensen
Year of completion: 2018