17 mei 2017
The ‘AREA78’ project in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht has officially started. In the presence of the Mayor and the Executive, Councillors and entrepreneurs, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht Town Clerk Dré Martens drove the first pile of Bolidt’s Experience & Innovation Centre on 16 May. When completed, this innovative centre will enable its future visitors to see and experience the endless possibilities of synthetics. The building is designed by a consortium of architects including Lüchinger Architects, RoosRos Architects and Kossmann.dejong. The official opening of the Experience & Innovation Centre is expected to take place in the autumn of 2018.
As the initiator of the AREA78 project, Bolidt is committed to a future, in which co-creation, innovation and experience have a central role. The new build will also increase the company’s storage capacity and boost the production of prefab products by integrating these business functions with the new Experience & Innovation Centre.
The Experience & Innovation Centre will immerse national and international visitors in the world of synthetic flooring, marine decking, surface courses and other applications. Start-ups, knowledge institutions and collaborative suppliers of Bolidt use it to work on new synthetic applications together.
In addition to an open source innovation centre, where customers and business relations can realise their dream in synthetics, Bolidt is working with exhibition architects Kossmann.dejong on the development of a total experience, which will start in Rotterdam and take visitors by water from AREA78 to Bolidt. Through interactive installations in the building and virtual & augmented reality applications, visitors will be given a unique insight into Bolidt’s DNA and the unlimited possibilities of synthetics. The overall design was created by Lüchinger Architects and RoosRos Architects.
The exceptional, future-oriented vision of experience and collaboration serves, both literally and figuratively, as the foundation for the centre. The 300 piles that will be driven into the ground first, carry the names of people who have made an important contribution to Bolidt’s success in the past 53 years, whereas Bolidt is looking ahead with the next 300 piles. These carry the names of partners that the company would like to collaborate with in the future. For Bolidt and its partners, the driving of the piles therefore represents the kick-off for the coming 50 years.
“Ever since Bolidt was founded, we have invested in innovation”, says Rientz Willem Bol, CEO of Bolidt and ambassador for AREA78. “In that respect, this kick-off fits in perfectly with our vision of the future. If you don’t think about the future, you will not have one. 53 years ago, this thought, to provide innovative applications in synthetics that did not exist before, was one of the most important motives for starting Bolidt and still drives our work today. At Bolidt, our 250 dedicated employees continually work on shaping the future, with synthetics as the main ingredient. In the Experience & Innovation Centre, we will focus more specifically on open source innovation and collaboration. Only by dreaming, thinking and working together, and letting people experience everything that is possible with synthetics, will we achieve innovation that has the potential to conquer the world. That is what we want to achieve here, together with all of our partners.”
An open source innovation platform and the use of the latest technological tools, such as virtual and augmented reality, will enable future visitors of the centre to experience the possibilities of synthetic applications in a unique way. “AREA78 is an ambitious project,” says Michel van der Spek, Marketing & Experience Director at Bolidt. “That is why we made the choice to enter into close relationships with as many partners as possible. From regular to a collaborative suppliers; this is a new form of collaboration where partners remain closely involved in the project after delivery.”
Together with its collaborative suppliers, local government, educational institutions and partners such as the Waterbus, Bolidt is developing a total experience for its national and international visitors. Visitors can comfortably get to AREA78 from Rotterdam by water. The river Noord will act as a new entrance to both Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht and Bolidt. Plans to develop an art trail between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, with works that will be clearly visible from the water, are also taking shape. The development of AREA78 will put our city more firmly on the international map”, says André Flach, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht Council’s Lead Member for Economy. “This project and the developments on the banks of the river Noord together will modernise the entire business area and thus enhance its attractiveness. It is an inspiring example of local government and businesses working in partnership.”
Bolidt, a Dutch family business, is a specialist in the field of thermosetting synthetics and has been developing, producing, selling and installing synthetic applications since it was founded in 1964. At the beginning of the seventies and eighties, Bolidt was mainly known for industrial bonding applications, for instance, in Rotterdam’s Euromast, and for concrete repairs on Dutch lighthouses. Despite being best known in the Dutch market for its high-quality cast flooring, Bolidt has been working around the world on international projects for over 50 years. Examples include the London Science Museum where a special design floor was created in cooperation with Zaha Hadid Architects, the Ferrari racetrack aboard a cruise ship where a non-skid surface course was installed, the Olympic swimming pool in Beijing, the European Parliament in Brussels and the Harmony of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship featuring 20,000 m2 of Bolidt decking, which is walked on by millions of feet every year. Under the motto ‘everything under one roof’, the development and production of the synthetic systems always take place in-house, at Bolidt’s headquarters in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht.
The Bolidt Group consists of three companies: Bolidt replaces traditional materials with high-quality synthetic systems. Bolidt has a long history when it comes to generating innovations. Think, for example, of the replacement of traditional gravel athletics tracks with synthetic athletics tracks, the replacement of asphalt on bridges with synthetic surface courses, the replacement of wood on cruise ships with synthetic decking, the preservation of steel and the repair of concrete. Ode aan de Vloer was founded in 2004 in response to the rise in consumer demand for industrial flooring in residential properties. Esthec’s products include high-quality prefab decking for superyachts and terrace material for luxury resorts and villas. The Bolidt Group employs over 250 highly skilled staff including mechanical engineers, chemical engineers and industrial designers. The company is characterised by its close working relationships with architects, installation specialists and consulting engineers.
P.O. Box 131
3340 AC Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
Bolidt Innovation Center
3341 LW The Netherlands
TEL +31 (0)78 684 54 44