THE ORIGIN OF THE EUROMAST
Euromast since 1960
The Euromast was built in 1960 by architect H.A. Maaskant and contractor J.P. van Eesteren on the occasion of the Floriade.
From Eurotoren to Euromast
In November 1958 the Rotterdam newspapers published the news that the tower would be named Euromast. Euro because Rotterdam is in the heart of the European market and mast because not only Dutch know what the word means but also Englishmen, Germans, Swedes, Norwegians and Danes. They also use the word mast. In Poland they use maszt, in Finland masto and in France mt. In Spanish it is mastil and in Portuguese mastro. Mast even resembles the Russian matsjta and the Japanese masuto.
The first pile
The first pile was rammed into the ground by mayor Van Walsum, dressed in an oilskin coat, his head covered with a crash helmet, according to Het Vrije Volk. Students from the Werf Wilton-Feijenoord school cheered on the workmen: Ram, ram those 130 piles!.
- A 100 m high ships mast complete with bridge and crows nest.
- At a height of 32 m Maaskant provided the tower with a replica of a ships bridge complete with navigation systems and a chart- room. In this room the public could experience what it means to navigate a sea-vessel.
- In the crows nest at a height of 100 m two restaurants were located
- Rotisserie, with a first class menu, silver cutlery and a luxurious ambiance.
- The public restaurant with a view to all quarters of the world, built as a theatre and furnished in various shades of orange.
- On the ground floor a cafeteria was located where you could order microwave meals (very special in those days!).
The Euromast in figures.
- The tower made of reinforced concrete is 9 m in diameter (inside) and has walls that are 30 cm thick.
- The foundation consists of 131 concrete piles.
- On these piles rests a block of reinforced concrete weighing 1,900,000 kilograms and serving as a counterweight to the aboveground construction. This way the centre of gravity is underground thus ensuring maximum stability. The crows nest is a steel construction of 240,000 kilograms. The bottom is at a height of 96 m. It was built at the foot of the mast and pulled up in 5 days.
- The ships bridge was fixed at a height of 32 m.
- The speed of the elevators is 4 m per second. That means that it takes 30 seconds to reach 100 m.
- Restaurant crawls up in five days.
With this heading the Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant started its report about hoisting the crows nest restaurant. The colossus - weighing 240 tons - was ingeniously hoisted up in five days. On warm summer evenings hundreds of people were watching how the restaurant was slid up along the length of the pole at a speed of 15 centimetres per quarter. On 10 July the operation was completed and the restaurant was located 100 m above the ground. It took exactly 131 hours.
Euromast & het SS Rotterdam
Opening Floriade Prinses Beatrix
Bouw platform spacetower
Foto’s : Stadsarchief Rotterdam
The Dan campaign
On 12 March 1959 Het Algemeen Dagblad asked its readers to guess when the Euromast would reach its highest point. By stamping an excess amount of 50 cents on their postcards, the participants would contribute to the Princes Beatrix polio fund. The campaign was a great success. On 26 March at 14.59 hrs the wailing of a siren sounded over the docklands: the first stage of the building was a fact. The campaign brought in f 67.000 and the winners of the four first prizes received a car, scooter, tv-set and washing machine respectively.
The highest building in Rotterdam
In the sixties the Euromast was 101 metres high. High enough to tower over the skyline of Rotterdam. But it didnt take long before other buildings passed Rotterdams pride on all sides. In 1970 the Euromast hit back. With the Space Tower another 85 metres were added. And the Euromast was the highest building in Rotterdam again.
The Euromast was not Maaskants only contribution to the skyline of Rotterdam. In the fifties and sixties he left his mark on the post-war reconstruction of the city. Already in 1949 he built the apartment building Zuidplein and in the early fifties the houses in Zuidwijk. Later on he designed the Groothandelsgebouw, the Hilton Hotel and the Lijnbaan flats. With the Euromast he gave the international port of Rotterdam an eye-catching maritime monument.
- On a clear day 30 kilometres visibility
- During the first ten years more than 6 million visitors enjoyed the view. On a clear day they could see Antwerp, Moerdijk and The Hague. And on other days Rotterdam in all its splendour.
Euromast facts & figures
- In August 1962 6 employees were arrested on suspicion of fraud with entrance tickets;
- On 25 April 1964 the 2.5 millionth visitor was given a warm welcome; Mrs. Groot from Aerdenhout was offered a bouquet of flowers, a lunch and a weekend in Rotterdam;
- In May 1964 a Luxembourg commercial radio station broadcast a Sunday afternoon programme from the Euromast: Teener Topper Tijd. The reason for this location was symbolic: in this way the thought of a united Europe was propagated. Stars such as Francoise Hardy, Adamo, Anneke Grönloh, Wil Tura and Ciska Peters joined in.
- In March 1964 the Euromast hostesses got a uniform designed by the Rotterdam couturier Cargelli. A golden yellow suit with a black blouse and a hat in the shape of a sweet box;
- In September 1965 Feijenoord beat Real Madrid and the red and white Feijenoord flag blew triumphantly on the Euromast.
- In 1970 the spacetower came on top of the Euromast.
- in 2020 the Euromast is part of the M56 group and part of Magnicity.
In the nineties the Euromast was in danger of being wiped off the map due to the ambitious Parkhaven Tower plan. A Tower of 392 m designed by the London architects firm Kohn Petersen Fox had to become th new tourist attraction of Rotterdam. Being the highest building in Europe it was planned to incorporate flats and offices. Eventually the town council of Rotterdam put a stop to it.
A new start in 2004
Thanks to involvement of the Hotel New York Group the Euromast underwent a complete makeover in the early part of 2004. Everything will change but the view was the motto. A contemporary interior and an international menu transformed the restaurant into an inviting brasserie. Rotterdam became the proud owner of a fantastic place-to-be on a unique location.