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The Abbey in Middelburg has been the center of power and politics in Zeeland since 1574. The building 'de Librije' is part of the Abbey and has had many functions over the centuries. The name Librije originally stood for monastery library – libraria in Latin. From 1579 onwards, Zeeland's own coin was minted in the Librije

Renovation, sustainability, restoration and redesign of the Librije






Province of Zeeland


After the fire in 1940 due to shelling by the Germans (or the Allies), the Abbey largely went up in flames. Reconstruction started during the war and the Abbey was opened in 1960 by the then Queen Juliana. The 'Roosevelt Institute for American Studies' was also housed in the Librije for a while.

Due to the many functions, not much remains of the original historic interior. In the 1970s, the Librije was equipped with a layout with office spaces, which gave the building a completely different design than the original structure. M+R has designed a new interior for the historic building: A modern working environment, a flexible and open structure. The building has been completely stripped, partially renovated and restored with bio-based sustainable materials.
The interventions have created beautiful large spaces where daylight enters beautifully. The 'new' Librije is now an innovative working environment in a historic environment, which offers space for collaboration, meeting and development of and for the employees of the Province of Zeeland.


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