Van Nelle Factory


-Farah Joyner

The Van Nelle Factory, completed in 1931, was designed by Brinkman and van der Vlugt and built in phases to accommodate the production of tobacco, coffee, and tea. Considered a masterpiece of modern industrial architecture, the factory is entirely functionalist, with giant signage, separate buildings for specific purposes, an administration building that curves around to watch over the production halls, and various chutes added as needed to transport goods from building to building on site. It is important to note that factory no longer houses production, but has been carefully refurbished and maintained for re-appropriated office space use. Part of why the building is still successful in its reuse today is because of its image consciousness. At the time Van Nelle was constructed, it was extremely modern and sleek—an image of the future, and one that was miraculously preserved after the bombing raids that devastated Rotterdam during World War II.