Thursday, July 24, 2014

Van Nelle Factory - Netherlands

One of the places added to the UNESCO WHS list this year, was this factory in Rotterdam. The Van Nelle Factory is considered as one of the most important industrial heritage monuments in the Netherlands. 
This card was sent by Mike. 

The Van Nelle Factory is built between 1927 and 1930 and is an icon of post WW I modern architecture in the Netherlands. The ‘Nieuwe Bouwen’ as it is called in Dutch was, among others inspired by the architecture of Le Corbusier. Characteristic of this ‘Nieuwe Bouwen’ is the use of modern materials and construction materials that create transparent, spacious and clear spaces. The Van Nelle Factory is a good example with its transparent metal constructions and large glass windows that create, inside and outside the building, a feeling of brightness and spaciousness. This result is further strengthened by the fact that not the façades but the pillars in the building support the construction.
The factory was designed by the architects Brinkman & Van der Vlugt in cooperation with design engineer Ir. J.G. Wiebenga. The principal, the director of the factory Kees van der Leeuw, tried to create a pleasant working environment for his employees. That’s why there are no basements; one worked in a building filled with light, air and space. On top of that showers were installed and even a tennis court was built, all for the employees of Van Nelle to use.
The Van Nelle factory produced tobacco, coffee and tea until 1995 when the production was finished. Together with the new owner (since 1987) Sara Lee/ Douwe Egberts new ways to use the buildings were examined. In 1998 the Ontwerpfabriek bought the factory. They shaped the former factory into a dynamic premises with offices and rentable spaces for creative entrepreneurs. - in:

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