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De Brug (office Unilever Bestfoods)

The new headquarters of Unilever Bestfoods was built on the site of the Blue Band factory on the northern tip of the district Feyenoord. Because the building was built as a bridge over the existing complex, the nearby site of the former brewery Oranjeboom was kept empty. The Merchant City district (Koopmanstadwijk), planned here, will contain about three hundred houses designed by architects JHK and West 8.

Besides a smart idea to save space, the bridge building is a spectacular example of prefabrication. To not to disturb the production of the plant the building was erected 200 meters away on the Oranjeboom grounds. Subsequently, the steel skeleton was driven with hydraulic lifters to its final location in September 2003. It also had to make a rotation of 22 degrees because the volume is set diagonally above the existing buildings..

Transport company Mammoet was previously involved in moving their own completely prefabricated office building 'The Bolder' of the site in Zwijndrecht to a location in Schiedam.

The 2500 ton carcass was already equipped with a permanent foothold. The other V-shaped steel column and a gutter were build in their final place. The supports consist of steel tubes 1.2 meters thick . The steel also contains gutter risers and sanitation. The office building is 130 meters long, 33 meters wide and four stories high. The 15,000 square foot open-plan space can accommodate 750 to 800 employees. The lowest floor is 25 meters high. The whole construction is of steel, only the floors are made of concrete.

All components have been prefabricated. Besides Aronsohn, construction company Hollandia had a large share in the design. The steel construction is succinctly present where the diagonal linkages are visible behind the glass facades. The building is inspired by the nearby railway bridge, rising above the existing buildings and offering a fine view on the bend in the river.


  • Bouwwereld 2003-17
  • Stedenbouw 2003-10

JHK Architecten

Construction year
2002 - 2004

Nassaukade 5
3071 JL Rotterdam

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