|Former Use:||Textile mill|
|New Use:||Industrial Museum|
|Reuse Architect:||DeBoer(1985), Capezed (2008)|
|Construction year(s):||1876 - 1885|
|Reuse year(s):||1985 -|
A new building housing the ticket office, a cafe and extra exhibition and administration spaces was added to the complex in 2008.
"A glass corridor between the modern entrance and the old factory leads to the museum, comprising a multi-storey building (1885) and lower area with an authentic long shed-like roof (1876-1878). The tall building is narrow, long, has four floors and many windows. It was built in a style common to British spinning halls. This was in its days the highest factory building in Tilburg. From the central machine room, it was possible to easily connect the steam engine with machines on the other floors.
The ground floor of this building features a historical portrayal of the old woollen blanket factory between 1900 and 1940. There is also a reconstruction of the machine room with a steam engine. The machine (1904) is not originally from the Mommers factory but originating instead from A & N Mutsaerts, another local woollen textile factory. The steam engine is now electrically powered, but still makes use of the original system of driving shafts to run the machines in the woollen blanket factory. All of these elements combined: the architecture, the buildings and the authentic machines, as well as the sounds and smells, evoke memories of the renowned textile history of Tilburg; a history that has had a profound impact on the area.
In the heart of the building is the TextielLab, with it's continuous whirr of modern machinery. This area has an industrial wooden shed-roof construction that reflects a unique piece of architectural heritage. Almost all of such remaining roofs are made of cast iron. Shed constructions offered many benefits: floor tax did not apply, and windows angled towards the north allowed an optimum level of natural light, which was and still is useful.
This part of the museum, on the ground floor, is where the most current exhibitions are displayed. Various exhibitions of the museum collection as well as 'Highlights' from the TextielLab are shown on the first floor. The Library is on the second floor.
The most characteristic of these industrial buildings were erected by the Tilburg woollen textile manufacturer and weaver’s son, Christiaan Mommers (1836-1900). He built a broad, low factory (1876-1878) with a wooden shed-roof to house the weaving workshop and a high, multi-storey factory (1885) for the spinning area" (2)
- Bayer.M. et al. 2015, Terug naar de fabriek, Amsterdam: Oosterwind, pp.220-235