Blokhuispoort, Leeuwarden

After 400 years as prison, Blokhuispoort now has a completely different use...


Modernization of the old prison Blokhuispoort in Leeuwarden

The building Blokhuispoort is located at the very top of the Netherlands in the city of Leeuwarden. Blokhuispoort was built in 1499 as a type of fort and was turned into a prison in 1580 used till 1995.Blookhuispoort-entrance

Nowadays, parts of the building are used by startup organizations that rent office and workshop spaces. The old prisoner cells have been redesignated to be the “no-luxury rooms” for a Hostel being called “Bajes” which is Dutch slang for joint. Visitors can sleep in the real cells of prisoners as well see their pictures on the walls which give a real journey back in time.

A few restaurants have opened in the building and the public library of Leeuwarden with many thousands of books has its home in Blokhuispoort.

Project details

Over the last three years our partner Inatherm BV in the Netherlands has delivered 19 units (!) for this project - mostly VEX200 with rotary heat exchanger. We are the consultants go-to company as we were able to deliver the most compact and well performing units on the market.

In close collaboration with the designing consultant (selections, 3D drawings, unit break down explanations) and working together with the installer, providing flat-pack, and sectionalized mounting in some cases. All units have been commissioned by our service team.


On some parts of the building the historical roof was taken off partially for a very short amount of time. It was at this time that we had the chance to place units on the second floor without having to make them into a split-execution. That is also the reason that some units where already in the building a year before ductwork was connected and units where connected to power.



From inside the former prison

VEX270 installed under the roof.

Fun fact:

One VEX 280 was already lifted through the roof in 2018 and is still on the attic in three pieces, on the original pallets with factory plastic still covering everything. By the beginning of next year it will be put to action. 



Read more about our compact units VEX200 with rotary heat exchanger here:

VEX200 product page