IABR is keen on following up on the current and long-term opportunities of the Merwe-Vierhavens area and will move there in the spring of 2020. Centrally located in M4H, the Keilepand will be IABR's headquarters and operating base from 2020. The Keilezaal, a large open space in this industrial monument, will be home to the main exhibitions of at least the next three Biennales. And using the Keilepand as its springboard, IABR, together with the M4H Program Bureau, the Keile Collective and other stakeholders in M4H, wants to incrementally develop the IABR-Test Site M4H+ that was launched in 2018.

Councilor Bas Kurvers (right) hands over the keys of the Keilepand to the new owners of Keilepand BV

On 4 November 2019, Bas Kurvers, the Rotterdam councilor for Building, Housing and the Energy Transition in the Built Environment formally and festively transferred the title of the Keilepand to the new owners united in Keilepand BV on behalf of its previous owner, the City of Rotterdam. In the coming years, the buyers intend to sustainably develop the former gatehouse of Thomsen's Havenbedrijf, built in 1922, into a central place for knowledge sharing and meeting in Merwe-Vierhavens (M4H).

The necessary renovations will start forthwith and IABR will move its offices to the Keilepand at the beginning of April 2020. A key motive for the move is the Keilezaal, an open space measuring approximately 1,150 m2 on the first floor of the building that will, without any major interventions, be converted into a permanent exhibition and presentation space thanks to a clever collaboration of Keilepand BV and IABR.
In September 2020, the Keilezaal will open its doors for the first time to host Water as Leverage, the main exhibition of IABR–2020–DOWN TO EARTH. The Keilezaal will be the main location of the 2022 and 2024 IABR exhibitions as well.

Artist Impression Keilezaal

image: GroupA

In the periods between the Biennales, the Keile Collective and IABR will work together to create a program for the hall that will optimally suit the urban-development, cultural and ecological challenges and ambitions of the M4H area. Ideally, the public program, presentations, exhibitions, work sessions, and other cultural activities will concretely contribute to the reflection and work on the future development of M4H: call it area development as a cultural co-creation of various partners and stakeholders who are all strongly connected to the area.

By moving to the Keilepand, IABR is adding an independent, and, in terms of programming and research, relevant cultural institution to the M4H area. This fits in perfectly with IABR's ambition to work locally, concretely and interconnectedly, that is: in various partnerships, on the realization of its objective: inclusive and future-oriented city making.