The 450-plus old RDM has been housed in its former premises in Utrecht since 1911. Those premises were built for the purpose at the time, but due to increased production requirements and security standards, were no longer fit for that purpose. Hence their sale and the construction of a new facility in Houten, around 10 km away on a greenfield site.
Work started on the new building last May and the relocation of production has been taking place in three phases since the end of March – starting with circulation coins, then tooling and finally commemorative coins. Each phase took less than seven days, ensuring minimum downtime and disruption to production and customer service.
The architect’s inspiration for the exterior of the iconic building was the portrait of King Willem-Alexander on Dutch euro coins, which were designed by the renowned Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf.
Modernity also heavily influenced the construction of the building, with the RDM taking the opportunity to implement state-of-the-art technologies for security (it is one of the most secure sites in the country) and sustainability. For example, a combined heating and ventilation system has been installed that uses exhaust from the presses to heat the building in winter and cool it in summer, and solar panels are being installed, the objective being that the premises will be completely self-sufficient in energy terms.
The floor space measures 13,000m² – of which 10,000m² will be used for production and the remainder for administration and customers services. As such, it is more than double the space of the former premises in Utrecht (c. 6,000m²).
The RDM’s forerunner was founded in 1567 by King Philip II of Spain, who ruled the so-called Spanish Netherlands as part of the Habsburg Empire (making it one of the older, but by no means the oldest, mint in the world). It was sold by the Dutch Ministry of Finance in 2016 to the Heylen Group, which also owns Mauquoy Token Company, National Tokens and Royal Blanking International – companies in Belgium involved in the production of metal tokens, blanks, promotional and souvenir coins.
This sale put to rest a period of uncertainty for the mint, which since then has gone from strength to strength in terms of enhanced production and expansion of international sales.
According to the RDM, thanks to the new building it will be able to serve its clients, amongst others more than 70 central banks worldwide, in an even more reliable and efficient way.
And it remains confident in its product, stating that in the near future, cash will remain the most used method of payment in the world, and will continue to be of the utmost importance for the stability of the payment systems in countries with electronic payments.