Located in an industrial building from 1914, De Huidenclub is a new presentation and production space for contemporary culture in Rotterdam. Taking its name from the building's original function as a tannery, De Huidenclub was formed as an experimental, semi-temporary meeting place for various forms of artistic and cultural expression, for makers and visitors from within and beyond Rotterdam. Within the existing concrete structure, we have designed a new and demountable timber structure which houses artists' studios, workplaces, exhibition spaces, a meeting room and a canteen.
Conceived as an open platform that brings together various visions of architecture, art, design and culture, De Huidenclub had a pre-opening during Art Rotterdam in 2021, and opened its doors fully in March 2022.
Through a few simple gestures, the transformation makes as much use as possible of what is already present. The main architectural intervention is conceived as a series of walls which cut through the former factory hall. Two long walls separate studios from common areas; between the walls, two twisted cubes create shielded corners. The heart of De Huidenclub consists of a public space with a varying program of exhibitions, lectures and performances. Echoing the heritage of the site as a space for production, the design also reflects the multifaceted and experimental ambitions of its new interpretation.
The entire transformation is executed as a wooden construction, separated from the original structure. This allows for adaptation or disassembly and reuse after the first phase of the program. The wooden construction is left exposed and unfinished in the interspaces. A refined finish on the inside makes it suitable for presentations and exhibitions. Large, revolving doors openly connect the variety of spaces, creating a dynamic whole of changing passageways and vistas.
A seemingly simple and expressive structure that defines both boundaries and openness, and welcomes a wide range of activities, users and visitors. An architecture that offers space for forms of discovery and wonder, and that allows a degree of appropriation. More than a definitive design, it is conceived as a dynamic skeleton that moves with the future.
De Huidenclub was realized through a continuous collaboration between a variety of disciplines from Rotterdam and beyond. Alongside Atelier Tomas Dirrix, a selection of artists and designers have been invited to participate in the transformation, including Johan Viladrich, Jonas Lutz, Morph, and Gert Wessels. Taking a holistic approach, De Huidenclub will continue to bring together artists, designers, curators and thinkers to form an inclusive and creative ecosystem.
Type: production and presentation spaces for and art and design
For: .tmp (Chantal Schoenmakers and Liv Vaisberg)
Team: Tomas Dirrix, Stefan Hutterer, Julia Strömland, Pascal Henle
With: Project 2000, Fiction Factory (construction); Compass (installations); Johan Viladrich, Jonas Lutz, Morph, Gert Wessels (furniture)
Photography: Max Hart Nibbrig, Atelier Tomas Dirrix