When the Fenix warehouse opened its doors on Katendrecht in 1923, it was the largest warehouse in the world. In 1944 the German occupying forces detonated the dock which left the Fenix so severely damaged, that it separated into two parts. Construction began in 1950, which was also when the building was given its current name: the Fenix (Phoenix); after the mythological bird that is able to rise time after time from its ashes.
The history of the Fenix warehouses is tightly related to the docks of Rotterdam, and with 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 warehouses are a fantastic example of the striking Rotterdam dockland architecture.
Fenix warehouse I is currently being transformed into an apartment complex with public services on the street level. After a huge restoration, Fenix II will be the place which tells the stories of millions of migrants, who arrived at and departed from these docks. With the transformation of Fenix warehouse II, we will create connections between Rotterdam and the world, between visitors and residents and between the original habitants of Katendrecht and newcomers.
'Historical Fenix warehouse in Rotterdam preserved'
'From Rotterdam, Many Left for a New Life'