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VAN NELLE FACTORY

Van Nelle Factory
Brinkman and Van der Vlugt with Mart Stam
Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1925 - 31

van nelle
Photograph © Christopher Hall

Designed by architects Johannes Brinkman and Leendert Van der Vlugt with Mart Stam, the Van Nelle coffee, tea, and tobacco factory is known for its curved glass and steel façade and glass bridges between its multi-storied buildings, exemplifying the Modern Movement in architecture. The company owner, Kees van der Leeuw was motivated by his theosophist beliefs, and sought to create a utopian workplace with light and air, and ergonomic furniture. Production moved from the upper to the lower floors, and used overhead conveyors to transfer finished products through the glass bridges to the warehouse. The framework of octagonal, reinforced concrete mushroom columns allowed for cantilevered floors to support the glass curtain wall, creating the transparent flush facade.

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