The Poortgebouw building is right next to where I live so I often pass below it when I head out further into the south part.
It’s a monumental building dating from the 19th century, with quite an interesting history up till now, accompanied with a lot of turmoil.
The residents formed a collective after it started as a squatted place back in the roaring ’80s and they finally received a permit around ’84 to legally inhabit the building. An official renovation of the interior to meet the requirements for living there with an affordable rent started before then.
If you look closely, you will see that the building’s exterior is in dire need of a lot of TLC. Unfortunately the community is still trying and struggling to get things resolved with the party who bought the building from the municipality to get that much needed renovation started.
There are about 30 people living there, an international crowd working to make a contribution on a social, political, creative and cultural scale, not only in the house but throughout the city as well.
The building is also a host for social and cultural interactions so besides only passing it by, you can visit it too! The community is open to any of your own DIY projects, events and non-profit activities – a rare example nowadays if you want to organise something without all the red tape.
Check their FB page for updates on events like the clothes swap every last Wednesday of the month.