The former Van Nelle Factory (Van Nellefabriek) is considered a prime example of the International Style and Constructivism. It has been a designated World Heritage Site since 2014.

The buildings were designed by architect Leendert van der Vlugt from the Brinkman & Van der Vlugt office in cooperation with civil engineer J.G. Wiebenga, at that time a specialist for constructions in reinforced concrete, and built between 1925 and 1931. It is an example of Nieuwe Bouwen, modern architecture in the Netherlands. It was commissioned by the co-owner of the Van Nelle company, Kees van der Leeuw, on behalf of the owners. Kees van der Leeuw and both company-directors, Matthijs de Bruyn and Bertus Sonneveld, were so impressed by the skills of Van der Vlugt that they commissioned him to design and build private houses for themselves in Rotterdam and nearby Schiedam between 1928 and 1932. The fully renovated Sonneveld House is now a museum in the centre of Rotterdam, with more than 30.000 annual visitors from all over the world.

In the 20th century it was a factory, processing coffee, tea and tobacco and later on additional chewing gum, cigarettes, instant pudding and rice. The operation stopped in 1996. Currently it houses a wide variety of new media and design companies. Some of the areas are used for meetings, conventions and events.

The Van Nelle Factory shows the influence of Russian Constructivism. Mart Stam, who worked during 1926 as employee-designer at the Brinkman & Van der Vlugt office in Rotterdam, came in contact with the Russian Avant-Garde in 1922 in Berlin. In 1926 Mart Stam organized an architecture tour of the Netherlands for the Russian artist El Lissitzky and his wife Sophie K├╝ppers, collector of avant-garde art. They visited Jacobus Oud, Cornelis van Eesteren, Gerrit Rietveld, and other artists.

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Founded: 1925-1931
Category: Industrial sites in Netherlands

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Okey Ihedigbo (2 months ago)
This is a real example of creating value from a non-functional factory in which the physical structures, which would have otherwise been in disuse, are converted into very useful value chains in the city's economy. So much to learn and enjoy going there.
Manuel Torres (4 months ago)
beautiful place to visit. Astonishing modern industrial architecture. Mid century looking like space age.
Vincent van der Linden (5 months ago)
What an energetic environment. Loved it and for sure going back.
Vlad Mihai (9 months ago)
Great place to work. Could use a bit more options in terms of lunch.
Ron van Rutten (12 months ago)
Historic location. Must see for industrial design fans.
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