The former Ketelhuis (boilerhouse) is the oldest building in De Meelfabriek. It will be dedicated to Art & Culture, with flexible spaces for art exhibitions, film screenings, seminars, workshops and other events.
The building’s dating back to 1896. Steam engines were used here until the 1920s, when the advent of electricity rendered them redundant, and the space was then filled with compressed air compressors. The building is now entering the next phase in its history and is being redeveloped to make it suitable for new uses.
Because of its architecture and cultural heritage value, the Ketelhuis is considered to be a perfect example of a utility building with exceptional detailing and an early application of concrete and iron construction technology. It is now a rare example of a building from the early days of concrete construction combined with an iron skeleton. The concrete barrel vault of the roof is to be reinforced every three metres by iron sections that echo the shape of the arch.
The adjacent Anker Park has been completely renovated by the Municipality of Leiden into an attractive park by improving the existing greenery while retaining the current park structure and the healthy trees in the park, a beautiful playground and space for a sculpture garden with 10 artworks by the Leiden artist Frans de Wit.
So from the Ketelhuis you can walk across the new Singelpark bridge to enjoy even more art.
The Schoonmakerij will be dedicated to health. The ground floor will be connected to the new Silotoren building and the swimming pool. There will be room for sports and wellness here. The upper floors can be filled in with offices and rooms for personal training, physiotherapy, psychologists, dieticians and extensive beauty facilities.
As its name suggests, the Schoonmakerij (washhouse) – a listed building dating from 1937 – was once used to wash grain. The building has characteristics of the Nieuwe Bouwen school of modernist architecture and the sober expressionist style known as Zakelijk-Expressionisme.