Combination of international convention center and music hall

There is a large, integrated area development going on around the Zuidplein shopping center in Rotterdam South. An important element of this public-private collaboration is the new convention center of Ahoy.

The combination of a big concert and congress venue with exhibition halls for fairs is going to be unique in the Netherlands and highly competitive in Europe. We are collaborating from concept to levels of small but important details.

The area already has an amazing infrastructure with a lot of travelers and a great theatre. These strengths will be of great use in the future. Because with the biggest convention center and biggest concert venue of the Netherlands, Rotterdam will get a second city center in its southern part. It is a development with a big economic and societal spin-off.


  • Initiative
  • Concept development
  • Program of Requirements
  • Managing design and build on behalf of user
  • Aftercare after delivery
Within the area development ‘Hart van Zuid’ we came up with the concept ‘business & entertainment’ for the area around Ahoy. Our idea to expand Ahoy with an international convention center is one of the carriers of the area development.
The right angle

An exceptio­nally multi­functional room

The theme of the area development around Ahoy is ‘business and entertainment’. From that theme, we got the idea to greatly extend the now fairly limited convention center of Ahoy. This is the best moment to create a versatile place of international standards. The flagship: an exceptionally multifunctional hall that converts from auditorium into concert space, dance venue or fair in a blink of an eye.

This hall enables an interesting proposition that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. Ahoy will soon have an enormous international congress center. The auditorium can house 2.860 visitors, the indoor arena can hold over 16.500 people, the concert venue 7.800 concertgoers. Furthermore, the complex has 33,000 sqm of modern exhibition halls. It’s a combination of functions that can host events that otherwise wouldn’t have landed in The Netherlands. 2020 marks the start of Ahoy as a unique hybrid venue on the international market.

Pro in process

Strong together in a complex process

During the process, we professionalize Ahoy in its role. Ahoy knows better than anyone how to operate a modern venue. We look after their needs, lead the design team and protect their interests in negotiations. Our knowledge and experience on contracts, building and process are of particular value here. The goal: a high-end multifunctional and very exploitable building. Our role stretches from the concept and idea phase to specific technical details of spatial level.


Too big for the location

For a long while, it seemed impossible to realize the expansion of Ahoy on the limited building site. We started looking for solutions in Ahoy’s business operations. That is how we found the leeway in the exploitation and usage of the building. These insights were the key to both the hybrid hall and spatial optimizations. Solutions that made it possible to perfectly fit Ahoy’s expansion on the limited building site.


  • Capacity Music Hall: 7.800
  • Capacity Auditorium: 2.860
  • 35 break-out rooms
  • 000 m2 exposition hall/ballroom
STEAD's ideas, experience and guidance have, within budget, led to a multifunctional building with almost endless possibilities
Jolanda Jansen

Managing Director
Rotterdam Ahoy

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