The project

History of the Fenix warehouse
When the Fenix warehouse opened its doors on Katendrecht in 1923, it was the largest warehouse in the world. The building itself and its surroundings are full of stories. From these docks, millions of people left Europe for the New World. And from elsewhere set foot in Rotterdam.

The history of the Fenix warehouse is tightly related to the docks of Rotterdam, and to the Katendrecht borough in particular. The enormous building was used for the storage and transhipment of all sorts of commodities. The Dutch architect C.N. van Goor designed a concrete building with characteristic windows and robust columns. The Fenix warehouse is a fantastic example of the striking Rotterdam dockland architecture.

In 1944 the German occupying forces detonated the dock which left the Fenix warehouse so severely damaged, that it separated into two parts. Construction began in 1950. This was also when the building, now split into two warehouses, was given its current name ‘Fenix’ (Phoenix), after the mythological bird that is able to rise time after time from its ashes.

Fenix warehouse I has been transformed into an apartment complex with public services on the street level. After a restoration, Fenix warehouse II will be the home of FENIX: the Museum of Migration, a mix of creative, culinary and cultural businesses and a spectacular viewpoint.

The project
After a large-scale restoration Fenix warehouse II will be the site of FENIX. With the transformation of the warehouse, connections will be created between Rotterdam and the world, between visitors and residents and between the original habitants of Katendrecht and newcomers.

FENIX Museum of Migration, which will fill the entire first floor of the warehouse, will tell the story of migrants. An art collection has been created that displays the topic of ‘movement’. Works by internationally renowned artists are combined with contemporary art, photography and objects. The collection consists of meaningful, evocative art which shows the universal story of migrants, told from a Rotterdam perspective.

On the ground floor FENIX will offer a mix of creative, culinary and cultural activities for the neighborhood, the city and its visitors. On the roof a viewpoint designed by MAD Architects will offer a 360 degree view onto Rotterdam. Together, the museum, the ground floor and the viewpoint are FENIX.

'Historical Fenix warehouse in Rotterdam preserved'

'From Rotterdam, Many Left for a New Life' The New York Times