Butter, cheese and a steam machine

The Open Air Museum gives visitors the opportunity to travel through Dutch history. One stop in this journey through time is the Frisian dairy plant Freia, which was a trail-blazer in the manufacture of cheese and butter using a steam engine. When you step inside, you instinctively step right into the milk. The steam engine still powers various machines in the plant, but no more milk comes in and no more cheese leaves.

Instead the story of the plant and the production of dairy products is visible, audible and tangible. A fresh new layer of text provides answers to all your questions, large blow-ups bring the factory back to life and throughout the building large archive materials show how milk was brought in and processed into delicious butter and cheese.



Year: 2021
Location: Nederlands Openlucht Museum, Arnhem

Photography: Mike Bink, Synergique

The factory feeling

Huge wall-high blow-ups evoke the feeling of industrious activity of the factory’s past. The screens show archived images of how it actually was around 1900.

Clear text panels

The text panels were about 30 years old and needed to be replaced. We opted for a fresh look with an authentic character. To enhance the walking spaces throughout the factory as much as possible, the standing panels have been replaced with hanging panels.

The story of Freia

There is a lot to this story, not just about how the plant was created and its eventual decline, but how the dairy industry developed generally over the past 150 years. To tell this long and complicated story, we made a huge graphic display that covers the width of the wall.