A symphony in green and blueDe Doelen in Rotterdam (NL)

Water management is a central aspect of the renovation concept for the De Doelen cultural centre. Pluvia, the roof drainage system from Geberit, provides valuable support here.

Thunderous applause echoes through the large concert hall in De Doelen, the multifunctional cultural centre in Rotterdam. The Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra has just performed Tchaikovsky's Sixth. However, not all visitors are probably aware of this: It's not just the acoustics in the national monument De Doelen that have improved significantly since its renovation in 2020. Something truly fascinating is taking place above the heads of the concertgoers: the renovated roof of De Doelen is a prime example of sustainable water management.

Part of an international sustainability initiative

The flat roof measures over 2500 m² and runs around the copper roof of the large concert hall (© Plotvis and Kraaijvanger Architecten)

The renovation of De Doelen took place as part of the international “7 Square Endavour“ project.

This international initiative at seven different locations around the world aims to make areas fit for the future and counteract the negative effects of urbanisation such as pollution, heat stress and flooding.

A roof in green and blue

The two architects Dave Hoffers (right) and Carlo Bes at De Doelen

The green and blue roof with terrace of De Doelen - specifically its water management system - is of central importance.

Around the copper sides of the large concert hall, an area of more than 2500 m² on the roof has been planted with 84 different species of native flowers, grasses and herbs. Five large insect hotels were even integrated.

The green area is irrigated with rainwater. A 300 m³ water storage tank was installed on the roof for this purpose. This buffers the rainwater - also with the help of the Pluvia roof drainage system from Geberit.

Less flooding, better quality of life

The water management system not only helps to prevent flooding, the stored water also feeds the plants on the roof and the greenery helps to cool the building. The national heritage organisation is also happy: the roof design of De Doelen was agreed with the cultural heritage authority and shows that even a national monument can contribute to an improved urban quality of life after renovation.

In the name of sustainabilityInterview mit Dave Hoffers, Architekt bei Citadel Aannemingsbedrijf B.V.

Roof drainage system Geberit Pluvia

Citadel has carried out several works on the De Doelen building in recent years - including in the area of water management. Architect Dave Hoffers gives us a brief look behind the scenes.

What was the challenge at De Doelen?

We received a proposal from the engineering firm commissioned by the city. They designed a standard flow system for rainwater. Our task was to check whether this system could be implemented in the building at all.

What were the conditions like on site?

De Doelen is full of pipework, electrical and acoustic installations. There was simply no room for a normal rainwater collection system. This made it impossible to realise the original idea.

What was the solution in the end?

A new system had to be developed to meet the requirements of the blue-green roof. We then realised this - with the Pluvia roof drainage system from Geberit. The reason for this was that we were looking for pipes that were as small as possible due to the limited space available. Pluvia was the only system available that met these requirements.

What have you learnt from this project?

Since we won the tender, we have taken on various other tasks at De Doelen. We know the building like the back of our hand. (laughs) And we know: You shouldn't work at De Doelen when an orchestra is playing - it's just too loud.

About Citadel
Citadel Aannemingsbedrijf B.V. is an all-round construction company in the Rotterdam region. The focus of its work is on (new) construction and renovation of buildings such as museums, conference centres and car parks. These include the Maritime Museum and the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam. The company was founded in 2013 by Jan van Lint.