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cacaofabriek

The once so successful Nederlandsche Cacaofabriek (Cocoa Factory) in Helmond went bankrupt in the 1930s, after which the buildings were always in shared use by different parties. The complex has undergone many changes in the course of time. For instance, the characteristic hipped roof disappeared and part of the complex was destroyed by fire in 2008. Nonetheless it remained the defining piece of industrial heritage in Helmond. Since March 2014 it has housed a cultural hotspot that includes a music venue, art cinema, exhibition space, catering and work spaces for companies in the creative industry. cepezed created the design and went for a contemporary, modern and recognizable culture cluster. cepezedinterior has designed the entrance, lounge, halls, meeting and office spaces and the cafe with terrace. The interior design combines the robustness and monumental value of the original factory with the atmosphere of the flamboyant and dynamic cultural program of the new 'cacaofabriek'.

The former hipped roof is back with a contemporary playful appearance and a top layer of minimally detailed stainless steel. An extension added in the 1920s was in a very bad state of repair and was replaced by modern new-build for the creative industry, where the existing façade alongside the water was however reused and has remained a distinctive feature. Together with the extension, the original main building forms a U-shaped inner courtyard on which the music venue and the central foyer have been housed in a new-build volume. In the interests of acoustic separation and to enhance the incidence of daylight and spatial experience in the newly formed ensemble, this volume has been placed at some distance from the basis of the U-shape. The new-build has a distinctive industrial façade screen of vertically mounted anti-slip grilles. In cooperation with lighting architect Har Hollands, LED strips have been integrated into the grilles, thus turning the façade into a display as well.

helmond / the netherlands

client
helmond town council

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