Photographer's Note

Being inspired by the fantastic posts of architecture student Rita Cruz (Kititit) from Portugal, here is my try on some architecture photography.

Yesterday I went to the Van Nelle Design Factory in the west of Rotterdam. The factory was built between 1926 and 1931 and it's purpose was to provide a location for Van Nelle to produce coffee, tea and tobacco. In that time the building was very innovative because of the thin floors, huge amount of glass and thin column construction.

Nowadays the building is being used by several graphic- and design companies and hosts congresses, conferences and parties. The companies have to follow strict rules on the kind of furniture that they place in their offices and are not allowed to show a company sign on the outside. The structure and the shell is preserved while the inside is reconstructed to make it well isolated against outside temperature and wind so that it satisfies all of today’s needs. The materials used are the same as in the 1930s, lots of steel and glass. Also the heavy doors and some of the elevators are preserved. The entire surroundings are well maintained.

This is an amazing building and walking and being in and around the building is overwhelming, it has an amazingly strong presence on your senses. I don't know that much about architecture but to me it looks 70s with these straight lines and efficient appearance. It has a very strong industrial feel, just like being in Hotel New York, on the other side of the city (more on that in a few days).

Van Nelle
The company is famous for it's shag. Shag is very fine cut tobacco, sold in an plastic envelope. You have to get a piece of thin paper, called Mascotte, and then put as much or little shag in it as you like, roll it, lick it, light it and stick it. It's like a custom build cigarette without a filter. The company was taken over by the biggest coffee maker of the country, Douwe Egberts, in 1989 and then sold to Imperial Tobacco in 1998.

The company is gone but the timeless building is still here, resurrected in all its glory and just as strong as before. It survived World War 2 and it will survive you and me. It is on planet Earth to stay.

Also have a look at the workshop picture.

Flash Earth: 51.923337° 4.433017°

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Additional Photos by Gilbert Sopakuwa (startacked) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 422 W: 141 N: 354] (1371)
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