Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam (1926-1930)

Manfredo Tafuri
Francesco Dal Co
Modern Architecture

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Between 1926 and 1930, Johannes Andreas Brinkman and Leendert van der Vlugt realized their most prestigious work, the van Nelle factory in Rotterdam, which has aroused much enthusiasm and certainly has its place among the architectural achievements of our century. The long parallelepiped with alternate courses of cement and glass, interrupted in modular manner by tense vertical blocks counterposed dialectically by the curving office block, is a tribute to the potentialities of modern labor. Its architecture is the product of a clearly thought-out program linking construction to the needs of production: inside, the rooms, with elegant mushroom pillars seen through the windows, were laid out strictly on the basis of the organization of the work. It was adaptable to eventual extensions, in every sense an open structure, and its quality stems from the process of functional simplification; the rational organization of the work done in it is further emphasized by the excellent natural lighting in an interior for the best possible working conditions. This realistic approach to production is based on an enlightened relationship between man and machine. [Pg. 225]

Click the images in the gallery below to see them enlarged.
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One thought on “Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam (1926-1930)

  1. Nice pictures, thanks.

    Used to pass by the factory daily on the commute. Currently the building is used for hosting a large variety of companies and just visiting it is not really possible. It might get on the UNESCO list. The current government supports this and will give a subsidy to make it better accessible to the general public.

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