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The Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre

Reunited with old friends, Rotterdam’s big win and a tale of challenge and triumph!

The new Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre (RACC) is a state-of-the-art, conference centre of over 25,000 m2 which can also be configured into a concert hall.

The RACC is a part of the ‘Hart van Zuid’ development plan in Rotterdam. This job reunited us with some old friends, as Heijmans and Hager had already worked together on the ‘Zwemcentrum Rotterdam’ swimming pool and arts centre. Our experiences together in the last few years really worked in our favour to make the tricky RACC project a resounding success. With panel builder, PS Nederland Noord, everyone rose to the challenge of this major contract, commissioned by Hart van Zuid VOF.

Engineering to installation – ready for the details?
Hager is responsible for the power supply, the main distribution frame and all the distribution boards in the building, from the very start right through to commissioning and hopefully in the future regular maintenance. We completed the entire project: the first engineering steps and initial design, the project preparation, supply of materials, construction of the main distribution panels in the Hager Service & Competence Centre in Coevorden, the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), and the installation on the fifth floor! The logistics were completed in collaboration with Nederhoff, who organised a complete hoisting plan using a Spierings crane.

29 distribution boards in only 9 weeks and a bump in the road…
Last year on social media channels we posted about how we had to hoist the boards using the crane, with only a handful of crew members allowed on site because of the pandemic. And how the crisis also caused material deliveries from factories to stop completely, which in turn meant that impeccable coordination was essential. The outcome was an exemplary demonstration of teamwork under pressure and nerves of steel from all involved! While PS Nederland Noord built all 29 Hager Univers system distribution boards for the RACC, they also supplied the design, project planning, all of the required materials and assembled and delivered the distributors to the site. All within an incredibly short lead time of nine weeks during the pandemic. Another amazing feat of engineering and determination in the RACC story. 


Engineering conundrums, great results and ingenuity
The challenges didn’t end there either - in certain areas space was at a premium for the distributors, particularly in one crucial area where a truly flexible solution was called for – in the foyer. To tackle this key hurdle, we needed to split a large NLK 2-1 distributor into two parts, a huge challenge in terms of engineering and design, but yet again, great teamwork and ingenuity won the day and the challenge was successfully mastered within the agreed timeframe.

Sharing the stage with a serious performer
The largest room in the building is the RTM stage and this too presented another interesting challenge within a challenge. This concert venue part of the building with a capacity for 7,800 fans, had quite limited space for the large distributor which then had to be built into the wall in two parts, one for sound and the other for lighting. It was a complex challenge and it had to be designed in black, so it would blend into whatever show scenery that comes the RACC’s way, despite its highly visible position. A unique and yet deliberately disguised installation was the ingenious result. A huge shout out to all involved!

Project: The Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Products & Solutions: Hager Univers system distribution boards, NLK 2-1 distributor


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