During the early stages of our continuing work on a masterplan for Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam, the practice was invited by Marine Safety International to design a housing for a marine simulator, and provide accommodation for classrooms and offices within the converted terminal of the Holland-America line. Marine simulators are designed to teach sailing techniques and are widely used in the design of ports. The full mission, or 360-degree simulator, is a complex piece of equipment. It occupies a central drum, 11 metres high, surrounded by a huge volume. This was dramatically and accurately prefigured in our CAD projections. The simulator rests on isolated, floating foundations and sits in a new building, which also houses briefing rooms and a first floor office area.

The existing structure of the Holland-America line building has been remodelled to contain offices around the perimeter with four-250 degree marine simulators positioned at the east end. The new and existing buildings are connected by a glazed atrium.

Sketches + Drawings


Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 1992
  • Completion: 1993
  • Area: 3,000m²
  • Client: Marine Safety International
  • Collaborating Architect: ABMA Dirks & Partners
  • Structural Engineer: Ingenieurs Buro ir J Zonneveld BV
  • M+E Engineer: Raadgevend Technisch Buro van Heugten


  • The 'Architectural Review' best European interior lighting scheme Hilight Award
  • 'Interiors' USA Award