slem building

slem building

Our building reflects everything that SLEM stands for: sustainability, social awareness, ingenuity, recoursefulness, design, originality and innovation for the footwear industry. We are based in part of the former town hall of Waalwijk. The municipality granted us free use of the building in our first year, but we had only two months and a very small budget to completely refurbish it and make it suitable for education.

But with success! We were featured on the cover of international architecture magazine A10.

With the help of architects Doepel Strijkers we came up with the idea to paint the whole building all in one colour. The choice for light blue was no coincidence: when you tan leather with chrome salts - the most common way of tanning - you get this colour. Since the skins need to be kept wet for further processing, it is called 'wet blue', hence the shiny 'wet' look of our floor. The vintage furniture on the other hand is all made of wood and naturally tanned leather, to reflect the natural side of the footwear and leather business.

You can see the making of our building at Dumoulin Schilderwerken who were responsible for adding the colour! Everything is done with the help of local companies and institutions, from youth center Tavenu and demolition company Maton, to Fabriek NL and transportation company Riwo, who donated all the leather for our curtains.

Dutch Profiles released a video interview with Doepel Strijkers, also filming at SLEM. You can see our building from 3:44 minutes:

where is waalwijk?

where is waalwijk?

You might not know it, but Waalwijk is actually one of the main footwear hubs in the world!
slem campus

slem campus

The SLEM campus is right across the school, on the other side of 'SLEM square'. It offers fully furnished housing.