Workshop The Commons Project


The Commons Project invites local residents and other interested parties to discuss the future of the Toren van Oud at the Gemeentemuseum on 22 June. This prominent tower has been empty for quite some time. The Commons Project has received the keys of the tower from HaagWonen and would like to talk to about a new destiny for this tower.

Citizens increasingly take matters into their own hands and unite to achieve a common goal. The Toren van Oud would be a special location for such a common plan: a contemporary commons. The tower has been empty for some time and HaagWonen would like to sell it. Until that time, no-one is investing in the tower, which is a shame for such a striking building  in a place that offers so much potential: next to the Convention Centre, near the Gemeentemuseum in the Statenkwartier and in the International Zone. Since 1 June, designer Henriette Waal is organising tours in the tower to get to know the tower,.

Share ideas
Do you have an idea for the tower? Potential users can submit their plans via or On 22 June, with the help of workshop leaders Aetzel Griffioen and Ernst van den Hemel we will take a look at the possibilities of the plans that were submitted. You are also welcome to join the workshop if you have not submitted any ideas, but would like to consider the proposals of others.

Click here for the digital form

Click here if you prefer to download form and e-mail or post it

Aetzel Griffioen and Ernst van den Hemel will be present on 22 June on the platform of The Commons. With practical examples they will help shape the plans for the tower. What can we learn from the Argentine ceramic factory which is in the hands of the workers; or  the Community Trusts in the UK? We will discuss with properties the tower will need to become a commons.


June 22:

From 14:00 to 17:00 pm:

14.00: Introduction of proposals
14:15: Theoretical exploration of the subject on the basis of practical examples
14.45: Discussion about the commons
15:00: Do it yourself: Refine the submitted ideas for the Toren van Oud
16:30: Make follow-up appointments
Optional 18.30: Tower Safari.
Participation is free. But please register via We hope to see you on 22 June at 14:00 on the platform of The Commons Project. Click here for the location of the platform.


Aetzel Griffioen is a philosopher. He is chief coordinator of Rotterdam Vakmanstad. He teaches freelance corporate social responsibility and does research on practices and theories of the commons, ecology, politics and art.

Ernst van den Hemel, religion and literary scholar. He was active in the squatters' movement and Occupy Amsterdam. since January 2013, he is appointed as Research Fellow at the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. He regularly publishes articles on religion, politics, philosophy and art.


The Commons Project is part of art manifestation Yes, Naturally.

The Commons Project is an initiative of Marjetica Potrč and architects Ooze (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) in collaboration with curator Theo Tegelaers (TASK) and Henriette Waal & Christiaan Bakker (Sandberg Institute Master Vacant NL).