The history of the Slaakhuys

The Slaakhuys in Rotterdam-Kralingen is known to many as the former office of Dutch national newspaper ‘Het Vrije Volk’. However, it has a much richer history than that. Allow us to pay tribute to the history of this iconic Rotterdam building.

The location of the Slaakhuys used to (starting in 1907) house the ‘Voorwaarts’ (Dutch for ‘Onwards’) building, designed by architect and urban planner Hendrik Petrus Berlage. After this building was razed to the ground during the Second World War, architect Jo Vegter created the Slaakhuys we all know and love to this day.

The Slaakhuys originally became the editorial department, printing works, and bookstore of Dutch national newspaper ‘Het Vrije Volk’. Since the paper left in 1972, it has fulfilled few noteworthy functions, although the snooker centre that was located in the building for many years and closed its doors in 2007 is remembered fondly by many Rotterdam alumni.

The neglected state of repairs of the building, partially inhabitant by squatters, at the time, did not prevent it from being given the status of national monument in 2010. Now, seven years later, the restoration and renovation of the building by Frame Vastgoed is in full swing, and Frame is determined to return the Slaakhuys to its former glory.