New lease of life for old Dutch buildings

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

Living in a church, attending school in a tax office, arranging a weekend getaway in a prison. Today all this is possible in the Netherlands. The reason is simple: tearing down old buildings has become passé. These days the Dutch prefer to find new uses for the empty structures.

And nowadays, as a result of the economic crisis, there are a record number of buildings standing empty in the Netherlands - the perfect canvas for a remake. 


Click here for an earlier video about new uses for empty churches in the Netherlands.