Dome Prison 'De Berg' in Arnhem
Wilhelminastraat 16
in Arnhem


Bidbooks can only be ordered in the Dutch language. We recommend cooperating with a Dutch partner for more information. Contact us for more information and/or translations.


Object information

Address: Wilhelminastraat 16, 6812 CW Arnhem
Surface (GFA): approx. 17,000 m²
Size of plot: 02.18.88 ha
Year of construction: approx. 1886

Public sale expected in 2017

Description of the domed prison
The ‘De Berg’ panopticon, or domed prison, in Arnhem is one of three of its kind in the Netherlands: the other two are located in Breda and Haarlem. It is situated in the residential neighbourhood of Lombok between the railway line and the River Rhine and is clearly visible and recognisable from both sides.

Location of the complex
The complex is made up of various sections. The original prison (sections A to E, sections J and G and the circular wall) was built in the period 1882-1883 according to a design by Johan Frederik Metzelaar, then the official government engineer/architect for prisons and legal buildings. The original sections of the complex have been accorded monumental status by the municipality. Sections A to E have national monument status.

Sections of the complex
The dome building was constructed in accordance with the panopticon principle (panopticon is the Ancient Greek word for ‘all-seeing’) devised by British man Jeremy Bentham. From the centre of this circular domed complex, prison officers could observe prisoners in the cells located around it. The idea was to give prisoners a sense of being under constant surveillance. The dome is 63 m in diameter and has four storeys, each with 50 cells, and an attic level. It is approximately 38 m in height.

Interior of dome building
In addition to the original domed prison and annexes, the site also features an activities building (section F, known as the ‘northern satellite’), a work building (section H) and an entrance/office building (section I), which includes the chapel (section J). Outside the wall is the former prison governor’s residence, now converted into offices.

The complex underwent large-scale renovations in the 1990s. Renovation work on the prison was completed in 2005. It is currently in an excellent state of repair. Until mid-2015, the prison was still in use by the Ministry of Justice. It was then used as temporary shelter for asylum seekers until late 2016. Since the domed complex is now vacant again, it is being used on a temporary basis in anticipation of the public sale.

Market and local community consultations
In preparation for the public sale, the municipality and the Central Government Real Estate Agency (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, RVB) have compiled a draft List of Guidelines (Nota van Uitgangspunten) and a market consultation document (step 2). In the next two months, local residents and the market will be consulted on this draft document. In addition, market parties will also be asked for ideas on the potential configuration of the entire complex, about the form that the redevelopment process might take (all in one go or in phases), how its financial feasibility can be guaranteed and finally how the local community can be actively involved in the transformation process (step 3).

Partly on the basis of the results of these market and local community consultations, the municipality and the Central Government Real Estate Agency will jointly draw up a definitive List of Guidelines (step 4). The intention is for the municipality to approve this document. In doing so, the municipality will express its views on the frameworks and basic principles that will guide the preferred or necessary redesignation and change of function of the complex and the necessary procedures in accordance with the Spatial Planning Act (WRO) and environmental licensing legislation (WABO). This List of Guidelines will be part of the bid book compiled by the RVB before the public sale.

After the municipal executive has approved the List of Guidelines, the RVB may offer public organisations, including the municipality, a preferential position to purchase the complex privately. This is referred to officially as the reallocation procedure. Until now, the municipality has repeatedly indicated that it was not intending to purchase the complex from the RVB, which is why this reallocation procedure has not been included in the chart shown below.

Should there be insufficient market interest in purchasing the complex, the RVB may decide to allow it to be operated for a longer period by a party that will maintain the complex but use it temporarily for different purposes that still meet the conditions laid down in the List of Guidelines (placemaking). Since this option currently seems unlikely, it has not been included in the sale procedure chart.

Public sale procedure
If there is sufficient interest in buying the complex, the RVB will begin the public sale (step 5). Market parties will submit their plans and their purchase price to the RVB (step 6). It will then select the highest bidder and, in the case of a sale subject to conditions, in combination with the most advantageous conditions. The plan drawn up by the party with the highest bid will be submitted to the municipality in writing for its assessment. The municipality will assess the market party’s proposal based on the List of Guidelines (step 7). If this assessment is positive, the RVB will assign the complex to this market party (step 8). This will be preceded by a procedure under the Public Administration Probity Screening Act (BIBOB). The municipality will make efforts to complete and supervise a WRO procedure based on the approved List of Guidelines in good time. The municipality will enter into a so-called anterior agreement with the buyer, which will include insurance to recover costs pursuant to Section 6.12, paragraph 2 of the WRO, possibly in combination with other agreements about planning and the redevelopment process. This WRO procedure will effectively serve as substantiation for the spatial planning aspects of the redevelopment being prepared and conducted by the market party (step 9).

The chart shows the sale procedure as applied by the RVB to central government real estate. The colours indicate which party is responsible for the different steps. If two colours are indicated in a step, this means that two parties (the municipality and the RVB) will be responsible for this step.

Procedure status  

  •  Publication
  •  Request bid book
  •  Selection phase
  •  Bidding phase
  •  Awarding
  •  Purchase agreement
  •  Transfer (current state)
View location on Google Maps

Download more information

You can download additional information here. You must be logged in to access this information.

   Download more information (14 KB)

Contact details

The Central Government Real Estate Agency
Person to contact: Mr. C.G.A.M. Meereboer
E-mail address:

Other interesting opportunities View all opportunities