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Preserving industrial heritage in the Dutch countryside with the De Grijze Silo

Cathedrals of the countryside. That’s what architectural historian Dirk Baalman calls the abandoned grain silos of the Netherlands. Grey, large, and looming, often found on the edge of a river and stripped of their original purpose decades ago, the silos dot the countryside like signposts to the past. Finding a new purpose for these concrete giants isn’t easy, but tearing them down would mean stripping an entire area of its distinct industrial and cultural heritage. In Deventer, about a one and a half hour drive east of Amsterdam, we find De Grijze Silo, or Grey Silo, rising from the town’s newly revitalized Harbor Quarter. At the very top of the silo, where grain is distributed to one of the 32 cells, heritage enthusiasts Anjo van den Brink and José van de Griendt decided to create their home.

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(Images: Jordi Huisman)