Former head office of Gist-Brocades / DSM Gist
The building, which has been named “Grote Kantoor” by DSM employees, is a national monument. Constructed between 1905 and 1907, it was designed by an architect named Schelling, with the assistance of his colleague Muller. The building style is called “Zum 1800” and is a variant of the Amsterdams style.
The dome shape resembles that of a station, and that's actually what is was originally designed as. Schelling didn’t really have time to design an office, but still had sketches lying around of a station in Vlissingen that was never actually built. That design was adapted somewhat and was eventually used for the office.
The lamps in the dome are not original, but were a gift from the staff on the company’s 60th anniversary (in 1930). The style is Cubism. The tile picture which hangs behind the bust of Van Marken, or the bottom part of it at least, was a gift on an earlier anniversary (in 1920, when it celebrated its first half-century).
A difference in color is evidence that the tile picture where the clock hangs was made at a later date. Just like the clock, it dates back to 1950, when both items were presented as gifts on the occasion of the company’s 80th anniversary. On that same occasion, the supervisory board presented the company with the stained-glass window that can be seen in the wide stairway. The names in the glass are those of the supervisory board members at the time.
The second story is not original, but was added in the 1950s. This is evident from the ceilings, which are too low. Several rooms are interconnected by corridors; this way the employees could visit each other without being seen on the gallery. The stained-glass screens on the second story represent the harbors to which the products from the yeast plant were shipped before World War II. The busts in the first story hall all depict directors of the plant. Waller’s is on the mezzanine. Verkade received an enameled plaque as a gift from the wives of employees immediately after WWII, as a token of their ‘heart-felt gratitude’ for the way in which the plant had helped the people living nearby (for example by means of a soup kitchen). You'll see his portrait in the hall.
The teller counters can be seen on the left and right of the hall. These were actually used, as was the hatch on the outside of the reception, where the workers used to queue up. There, they received their wages in an envelope, having to open and check them immediately before taking any money out to spend in the ‘Altijd gezelligheid’ café in the Agnetapark. An amusing detail is the ashtrays that have been mounted in various places. Smoking at work was still commonplace at the time. The enamel radiators in the hall are also beautifully decorated. The marble tiled floor has a magnificent pattern, but does make the room noisy.
The building hasn't been used since 2008. It is occasionally used for film shoots: scenes from Zwartboek, Sonny Boy and recently Riphagen were shot here.