First pile driven for new Leuvepaviljoen

8 June 2020
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Last week, the first pile was driven at a site on Schiedamsedijk where three former pavilions will be making way for a single new complex: the Leuvepaviljoen. From spring 2021 on, this building will be home to the Port Pavilion, a new information centre that offers visitors a refreshing introduction to today’s port and everything that can be seen and done there. Besides the Port Pavilion, the Leuvepaviljoen will also house two workshops of Maritime Museum Rotterdam, which will be open to the public. Here, visitors can watch maintenance being performed on the museum fleet.

First pile driven for new Leuvepaviljoen<br>
F.l.t.r.: Bert Boer (Director Maritime Museum), Allard Castelein (CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority), Marieke de Werker (Port of Rotterdam Authority)

The centre will also offer two café-restaurants with outdoor seating and a view of the water and the inner harbour. This location is actually where the port of Rotterdam first developed in the 17th century. Today, it serves as the home base of the Maritime Museum fleet and the historical heart of the Maritime District.

Port Pavilion

“Rotterdam and its port are inextricably linked. Today’s port extends across an area of over 42 km and provides direct and indirect employment to over 385,000 people in the Netherlands. And now, we will be opening our new information centre precisely where the port first came into being. The Port Pavilion will be the perfect place for visitors to get to know the port area as a pleasant place to stay, work and live,” says Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Visitors to the Port Pavilion are offered a variety of interesting information about Rotterdam’s huge, cutting-edge port. The innovative and appealing way in which this information is presented can inspire them to pay their own visit to the port area. For example, moving displays in a variety of formations highlight the variety of guises and contrasts found across the 40-km long port area.

The centre also tells you everything you need to know to arrange your own visit to the port. The pavilion features a scale model that allows visitors to survey the area in its entirety. And human ‘Port Hosts’ can tell them all sorts of things about the port and what you can see and do there. This includes details on Rotterdam’s full programme of public and other activities in the port. From visiting the RDM innovation hotspot to taking a boat tour, sunbathing at Hoek van Holland and kite-surfing against a backdrop of container ships. From cycling through the port or shipspotting at the Rozenburg Peninsula to – of course – planning a visit to the FutureLand information centre at Maasvlakte, from where you can go on a tour past some of the world’s most advanced container terminals. The Port Pavilion aims to inspire visitors and residents of Rotterdam to explore the city’s bustling, one-of-a-kind port area.

Maritime Museum workshops

The museum harbour of Maritime Museum Rotterdam is the oldest and largest of its kind in the Netherlands. It offers berths for a rich collection of historical vessels. Maintenance on these ships and cranes will be handled in two new workshops at the pavilion, which will be open to the public. This way, the Maritime Museum also hopes to bring a younger audience in contact with both traditional maritime crafts and modern-day techniques. To transfer this knowledge and kindle an enthusiasm for maritime technology and the sector in general. At the workshops, visitors can watch how ancient crafts and new techniques are used to keep the historical fleet of the museum harbour in shape. In the near future, these areas will be bustling with welders, smiths and carpenters – who look forward to sharing the tricks of their trade with visitors. The old and new port will be coming together in these interactive museum workshops.

“The new pavilion at this historical location will be a true asset to the city. Here, you will be able to feel, see and smell the maritime world first-hand,” says Bert Boer, Managing Director of Maritime Museum Rotterdam.


The Leuvepaviljoen’s facade has large expanses of glass, which offer a fine view of both the activities in the workshops and the Port Pavilion and of the nearby water and the Leuvehaven waterfront. The area around the new building will gain more greenery and public seating. Combined, these developments will give Schiedamsedijk a completely new appearance and transform the area between the Maritime Museum and the Mainport/Inntel hotel into an attractive setting to while away a few hours.

During work on the Leuvepaviljoen, local residents and other interested parties will be informed about progress made in the project via the Municipality’s usual channels.

Maritime District

The Maritime District is part of Rotterdam’s city centre and covers the area between Schiedamsedijk, Oostplein, Blaak and Boompjes. This district will be extensively redeveloped over the next few years. An increase in the number of homes in the area will also lead to an increase in local residents. That is why various locations in the public space and along the waterfront will be overhauled during the redevelopment. This will more effectively merge the local water areas, historical elements and the modern-day city – raising the Maritime District’s profile and transforming it into a vibrant and attractive corner of inner-city Rotterdam.