Holland’s Most Beautiful Buildings

In Holland, modern architecture plays an important cultural role. Architectural wonders can be found all across the country – read on to see our round up of the country’s most beautiful buildings:


Markthal Rotterdam © Ossip van Duivenbode

Rotterdam’s city centre was destroyed during World War II, leaving the locals with two choices; to restore what had been ruined or to become a modern city filled with contemporary architecture.


You don’t have to wander far to see which option they chose. Nowadays, Rotterdam is known as Manhattan on the Meuse - the city is a playground for architects, with skyscrapers that you can spot from miles away in the flat Dutch landscape.


The Erasmusbridge, the central station, De Van Nellefabriek, De Rotterdam building, the Cubehouses and the Timmerhuis are just some examples of the fantastic architecture in the harbour city.


One of the newest iconic buildings is the horseshoe-shaped Markthal. Completed in 2015, this huge building hosts a food market, cafés and restaurants as well as 226 apartments, all in a space of 4600 m².


The ceiling of the Markthal is illustrated with a digital printed artwork measuring 11.000 m² (two football fields in total).


Rietveld-Schröderhuis Utrecht

Utrecht was the home of Gerrit Rietveld, one of the most famous Dutch designers of the De Stijl movement. In 1924, one Miss Schröder commissioned Rietveld to design a house for her in the city.


An important feature of the house is the fluent transition between interior and exterior, the horizontal and vertical lines and of course the use of the primary colours used in combination with white, grey and black.


Rietveld wanted to use the space in and around the house in an optimal way - everywhere he used the three dimensions height, width and depth.


Miss Schröder offered Rietveld a room on the ground floor that he could use as a studio. After Rietveld’s wife passed away he moved into the house until he died. The building was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000 and is open to visitors.

Den Bosch

Palace Quarter Den Bosch

Old architecture can be seen everywhere in the lively and romantic city of Den Bosch. Buildings such as the St Jans Cathedral (1380-1520), De Moriaan (early 13th century) and the Zwanenbroedershuis (1847) are good examples of the older architecture in Den Bosch.


These buildings create a beautiful contrast to the modern Paleis quarter behind the central station. Among the unique buildings in the area are the ten Armada apartment complexes overlooking the water.


Building Design Partnership’s architect Anthony Mc Guirk built the parking spaces underneath the court gardens. The project won the Dutch price for architecture in 2003. 


Strijp S Eindhoven

The city of Eindhoven is Philips’ birthplace and many of the company’s old industrial buildings are still in existence. The Strijp S area is one of the former Philips zones in the city with an industrial heritage dating back to the 1930s.


Since Philips left, the area is now transitioning into a multifunctional part of the city with residences, restaurants, offices and much more.


It’s interesting to see how old factories such as the Hoge Rug, the Klokgebouw, the Ketelhuis and the Machinekamer have been transformed and merged with modern buildings, without losing their industrial identity.


Loft Tilburg by Bedaux de Brouwer Architects

Discover the urban pavilion in Tilburg, south of Holland. The pavilion was designed by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten as a type of out of sea submarine.


The sculptural circular building built with grey brick stones has five levels and hosts two lofts. You’ll notice that the windows in the bedrooms are small, while the windows in the living rooms are huge and panoramic.


Gas station Auto Palace Nijmegen

Nijmegen is one of Holland’s oldest cities and was founded by the romans. The city is located very close to the border with Germany and the river Waal.


In 1936, two Dutch architects designed the Autopalace, a petrol station, garage and a house. The Autopalace was designed in the style of the Dutch architectural period ‘Nieuwe Zakelijkheid’, meaning New Pragmatism and refers to a period of modernist architecture that started in the 1920s and continued into the 1930s.


The large awning, the glass windows and the glass tower in combination with the white walls make this building unique and iconic in the architecture of petrol stations. These were all reasons to add this building to the list of state monuments.


Train station Arnhem

The Open Air Museum in Arnhem provides you with an insight into Holland’s architecture throughout the ages. If you visit the city by train you’ll arrive at Arnhem Centraal, a new station that opened in 2015, designed by the UN studio.


This modern, light and steel curved building of 21,750m2 was designed by the Dutch architect Ben van Brakel and features a dramatic twisting structural roof.


The UN Studio aimed to blur distinctions between the inside and outside of the terminal by continuing the urban landscape into the interior of the transfer hall, where ceilings, walls and floors all seamlessly transition into one another.


Groninger Museum ©Bas Meelker

In 1987, the Director of the Groninger Museum asked the architect Mendini to design a new museum in the city of Groningen. He also requested that Mendini collaborate with guest architects such as Philippe Starck, Michele De Lucchi and the architects of Coop Himmelbau. Together they worked on the building and finished nearly a decade later in 1994.


The museum was built on an artificial island in three different blocks. Each block is composed of various parts, with pavilions put on or next to each other. Every pavilion has its own function and also its own shape, colour and material.


These different areas are connected by hallways that are used as bridges as well. A blue draw bridge for cyclists and pedestrians connects the two riversides and is also a direct connection between the city centre and the train station.


In 2010 the building was revamped by the architects and designers Studio Job, Maarten Baas, Jaime Hayon and Allessandro Mendini.