Van Nelle Factory Rotterdam
Revolutionary tobacco factory
The Van Nelle factory was designed by the architects Brinkman and Van der Vlugt and was built in 1928. The architect Leendert Van der Vlugt also designed the Sonneveld House, which is now part of the architecture museum The New Institute in Rotterdam. The State-of-the-art Van Nelle factory was a real sensation, because of the modernist architecture, closely related to the Bauhaus. The glass conveyor belts on which coffee, tea and tobacco was transported from the warehouses to the factory are characteristic for the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam.
Van Nelle: Modernist Architecture
Characteristic of pre-war modernism is the functional design: form follows function. The curved and transparent facade of the Van Nelle factory provided the management with a great overview on the factory site. Van Nelle's technical installations were so advanced that all pipes and consoles were displayed at visible locations, whereas normally installations were 'hidden' in separate areas. The use of reinforced concrete was new those days. Due to this technique, the Van Nelle factory floors could remain relatively thin and concrete piles could be driven in under its foundation. The Van Nelle Factory was exclusively designed with straight lines, except for the observation deck. This round observation deck on the roof of the Van Nelle factory is called the bonbonniere, a place where distinguished guests were welcomed. The furniture and lights were made by Dutch designer Gispen. Due to its pioneering design, the Van Nelle factory is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Facilities Van Nelle workers
During the heyday, 1700 workers were employed at the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam, men and women working in separate areas. The staff facilities were excellent compared to pre-war standards. The factory workers had to refresh themselves in the common washrooms before starting their shift, as hygiene at home was still very basic in the 30's. Thousands of windows enabled day light to enter the factory, absolutely new back then. Working at the Van Nelle Factory was a daytime job, so no such thing as night shifts! There were even sports facilities (soccer) for relaxation of the factory workers. Even the tennis court is still there.
Tours Van Nelle Rotterdam
The Van Nelle brand doesn't exist anymore and nowadays, The Van Nelle factory is a multifunctional congress centre and home of several small businesses. Unfortunately this industrial monument isn't accessible for visitors and tourists, but in the near future a visitor centre will be built and audio tours will be offered. Furthermore, Rotterdam Archiguides offer an organized Van Nelle tour. Archiguides offers also day trips, during which you can discover other examples of Rotterdam architecture by bicycle.
PARKING Van Nelle Factory Rotterdam
Public transport to
Van Nelle Factory Rotterdam
The Van Nelle Factory is located at Van Nelleweg 1 in the West of Rotterdam. From Rotterdam Central Station, get there by bus line 38 and (bus stop Beukelsbrug) and walk from there. To travel by public transport in Rotterdam you must have a travel chip card first.
Parking Van Nelle Rotterdam
Park your car for free at Van Nelleweg or at €0,50/hour at the private parking lot behind the building.
CONTACT Van Nelle Factory Rotterdam
Van Nellefabriek Rotterdam
Van Nelleweg 1, 3044 BC Rotterdam
REVIEWS Van Nelle Factory Rotterdam