On 21 June 2014 the Van Nelle Factory, located in Rotterdam’s north-western Spaanse Polder district, became the Netherlands’ tenth UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perhaps it’s poignant that the inscription took place on the longest day of the year. One of the key considerations during the building’s protracted design phase was for the interiors to make optimal use of natural light. The factory complex was built to process and package coffee, tea and tobacco, a purpose it fulfilled for 64 years until 1995. The company, whose name it bears, was founded in Rotterdam by Johannes van Nelle in 1782.


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