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Nagele is one of the ten villages in the Dutch polder Noordoostpolder. It is built in the 1950s and designed by the avant-garde architects of de 8 and Opbouw. Architects that contributed to the design of the urban plan are Aldo van Eyck, Gerrit Rietveld, Cornelis van Eesteren and Mien Ruys. The village is famous for its modernistic architecture with flat roofs and its poetic open space plan with an abundance of green. The village has recently been recognized as an important part of the Dutch cultural heritage of the postwar period.


At the beginning of this century many of the original qualities of the village have disappeared. Many shops and some dwellings are long-term abandoned, and the architecture qualities of the modern housing is partly destroyed by renovations with lack of understanding and appreciation of its origins.

2009 is the start of the Research Lab Nagele (Onderzoekslab Nagele), initiated by the Chief Government Architect, to investigate the opportunities to revive the village and its cultural heritage. The team of 14 architects and one architectural historian is led by Bas Horsting and Pi de Bruijn. The approach of the team, bottom-up and with a similar progressive mindset as the avant-garde architect of 60 years ago, is successful.


The research lab is soon followed by a Design Lab with the goal to develop projects with locals, municipality Noordoostpolder, Province and National Government. In 2011 the Implementation Lab starts to oversee the execution of projects. Over the last years many projects have been successfully executed and the cultural heritage has been revived through a collective effort of locals, commercial parties, heritage specialist and government bodies on different levels.


Latest addition of the labs is Energy Lab Nagele, a local initiative to secure a sustainable future by making Nagele energy self-sufficient through and innovative system of energy collection and storage.


Bas Horsting is currently part of the quality team Nagele as architectural and urban planning supervisor. He helps locals, developers and architects to develop ideas and assesses the impact of renovations and new developments to make sure they contribute to the character of the village.


For more information (Dutch only):

Dwellings: 520

Other facilities: community centre, museum Nagele, supermarket, hairdresser, general practitioner, primary schools and daycare, business park

1900 inhabitants




Municipality of  Noordoostpolder


Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands


Onderzoekslab Nagele (Jeroen de Bos, Rogier Dobma, Magnette Dijkstra, Joosje van Geest, Mirjam van Hasselt, Sven Hulsbergen Henning, Marjan van Herpen, Marc Keizer, Gerrie Kleinjan, Marten Kuijpers, Guido Schot, Victor Spijkers, Claudia Temperilli, Jim de Valk)


Nagele (Photo: Siebe Swart/Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed)


Strategic map 'New Nagele': Mapping opportunities for revitalisation and restoration 


Protestant church by Jaap Bakema


Rietveld Housing renovation


Karwijhof by Lotte Stam-Beese and Ernest Groosman

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