Unique exhibition space in Rotterdam’s harbour

Submarine Warf. Photo: Freek van Arkel
Submarine Warf. Photo: Freek van Arkel

Atelier Van Lieshout inaugurates unique exhibition space in former Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam’s harbour
13 April 2010

This summer the Port of Rotterdam and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen are transforming an abandoned Submarine Wharf into the largest exhibition space in the Netherlands. From May to September a renowned artist is being given the opportunity to create a high-profile exhibition in this location. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has invited Atelier Van Lieshout to kick off the proceedings on 29 May 2010.

The exhibition in the Submarine Wharf is a partnership between the Port of Rotterdam and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. For the next five years, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will organise a different exhibition each year at this extraordinary location. Work has already commenced to transform the empty hangar into an exhibition space unique in the Netherlands.

New exhibition space
This new temporary exhibition space in Rotterdam will make a trip to the city and its harbour even more attractive. The 5000m2 Submarine Wharf dating from 1937 is of a comparable size to the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London. Rotterdam-based Atelier Van Lieshout is creating a thematic exhibition in the space consisting of a large number of sculptures. During the same period Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is hosting exhibitions by the internationally renowned artists Olafur Eliasson and Thomas Demand.

Pearl in the harbour
The re-use of the Submarine Wharf is one of the Port of Rotterdam’s initiatives to bring a broad public into contact with the harbour. The port is not only a place for industry and the transfer of goods, but has many other faces. The Submarine Wharf is part of the former terrain of the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (RDM) at Heijplaat. The RDM complex is a pearl in the harbour. This piece of early twentieth-century industrial heritage is currently being redeveloped with a focus on education, innovative companies and culture. If this exhibition is a success, it is the intention to organise another large exhibition by an internationally renowned artist in the Submarine Wharf next summer.