B-architecten, OMA and DELVA Landscape join forces for a new project: the former dome prison in Breda

Being and VDD Project Development join forces with internationally renowned architect team B-architecten (BE), OMA (NL) and DELVA Landscape (NL) for a new project: the former dome prison in Breda

Breda's iconic 19th century dome prison will soon have a new future. Developers Being & VDD Project Development, together with the internationally renowned architects B-architecten, OMA and DELVA Landscape, will protect the entire monumental site and, with respect for its rich history and architecture, transform it into a green, lively residential site with space for cultural and commercial activities. The 'Koepel District' project has just been chosen as the winner following a public sale procedure by the Government Property Agency.

The striking dome complex adjoins the historic centre of the North Brabant city and covers an area of more than three hectares. It includes various monumental buildings, with the impressive domed prison as the eye-catcher. It was built between 1882 and 1886 to a design by the architect and engineer Johan Frederik Metzelaar, who gained international fame with it. The unusual domed building, with 205 identical cells, has an open, circular central area so that guards could oversee the entire prison from the centre. A dome with iron trusses and a diameter of no less than 53 metres crowns the 30-metre high listed building. A former women's prison, a gatehouse and various court buildings are also part of the complex.

Eight years ago, the prison, officially the Penitentiaire Inrichting de Boschpoort, was permanently closed. At the beginning of last year, the Government Property Agency, the real estate organisation of the Dutch government, put the dome complex up for sale through a strict procedure. Based on a survey completed by many Breda residents, the municipality drew up a memorandum of principles. Important spearheads were an internationally distinctive character, a unique identity, a sustainable, future-proof transformation and an open relationship with the surrounding areas.

A lively repurposing

In the coming years, the developers and design team will transform the site into a lively destination that fits Breda's contemporary dynamic. The formerly closed complex will be transformed into an open and permeable area that will be connected to the inner city of Breda with its diverse landscapes. The strength of the 'Koepel District' project lies in the preservation of the existing historical heritage combined with sustainable renovation. The project also convinced thanks to its vision and development strategy: the realisation of a future-oriented and above all accessible project by creating a "village in the city" where it is possible to live (in all segments), stay, (net)work, exchange ideas, relax, play sports and experience culture.

The team also pays a lot of attention to ecology and sustainability. We put maximum effort into circular construction - which means that many building materials are reused or recycled - and into reducing consumption to an absolute minimum by using various sustainable techniques such as geothermal energy, solar panels and heat pumps.

Nederlandstalig persbericht
Download HR images

Learn more about the project

More info


Geke van der Voort


+31(6) 15 34 35 23

VDD Project Development

Johan Vandendriessche


+32 475 25 34 28