The Koelhuis de Landbouw was once an essential building in the Zutphen area, serving as a cooling house to store butter and milk in 'hot' Dutch summers. In recent years, most of Zutphen’s industrial buildings have been torn down to make way for a new residential neighbourhood. The iconic Koelhuis de Landbouw was kept intact as a reminder of the site's former use and history. This powerful industrial building has great potential to become an anchor project within the new neighbourhood development.

The Koelhuis De Landbouw was up for sale by the municipality of Zutphen in 2011. In collaboration with Red Concepts and BVF project management, Space&Matter developed a concept and created a design for the transformation of the industrial heritage building. With its new function, the building would house multiple creative offices, a restaurant, food market and cultural facilities such as a dance school and music studios. 

Ground floor

Ground floor


Since the Koelhuis building was built in 1920, it has been part of a continuous process of extension and demolition: a process of tearing down old redundant parts or adding new infrastructures onto the existing core. This 'scar-tissue' tells the story of the building. Instead of cleaning the brickwork and restoring the original (window) openings, the new design will be just out of alignment with the original, supporting new standards of accessibility, orientation, light and views. 

The newly added program consists of three zones: a food market with integrated restaurant, workspaces and a new roof terrace. Each zone has a specific layout and has elements that are visible from the outside. The added interventions are made from glass and translucent bricks, bringing light into the monolithic volume and ushering in a new chapter in the building's already rich history.



Invited commission