Marijn and Davey; unique living in a historic building


In the centre of Dordrecht stands a historic building that has undergone a remarkable transformation since 2020. The property, once part of a care institution and now managed by Monoma, is a home for the four residents who take care of the property together, enjoying a unique living experience.

We spoke to Marijn and Davey, two of the current residents. Marijn, from Rotterdam and with a background as a pastry chef, works in the healthcare sector and is studying nearby. Davey is originally from Tilburg and is a lover of cooking and making music. Together with two more residents, they now share this special building in Dordrecht.

What makes living in this location so special?

The historic building, vacant since 2020, has a rich history and is distinguished by special details and a beautiful view of the harbour at the front, with the old church and former pop centre "Bibelot" at the back.

Marijn: "This is a listed building that has been vacant since 2020. The building used to be part of a healthcare facility, and you can sometimes still see traces of that, like oddly placed sockets or special rooms where patients stayed."

Davey: "We often sit on the steps in front of the building, chatting and watching the boats sail by. There is even a ballroom with a projector where we can create our own cinema experience. And where there are no suspended ceilings, you can still see the old ornaments."

Although Marijn and Davey are very aware of the property's history, and feel a responsibility to preserve the listed building for that very reason, there was initially some scepticism from the neighbourhood because of the reputation of previous occupants.

Davey: "Admittedly, the neighbourhood was not happy with our presence at first, possibly because of our predecessors who showed no respect for the property and its surroundings. We are sorry that our neighbours got the wrong idea about anti-squatting, and we'd like to show the neighbourhood how it can be done. That we do maintain the property well and do our best to build a good relationship with our neighbours."

Davey has only been living in the property for a few months, but has known Marijn, who has been living in the property since March 2022, for much longer. So when Davey was looking for new accommodation a few months ago, it was quickly clear where he would like to live.

Davey: "I had been looking for a house in Dordrecht for a while to be closer to my daughter. Unfortunately, I kept failing to qualify for social housing, and when I saw through Marijn how beautiful and special anti-squat living could be, I immediately applied!"

Both have a good relationship with Monoma's property managers, who visit regularly to see how the property and residents are doing. "Monoma is very approachable and open in communication. This has ensured good cooperation from the start, including when solving any problems."

Monoma is very approachable and open in communication. This has ensured good cooperation from the start, including when solving any problems.


Marijn and Davey don't find it a problem that they live anti-squatting. However, they do want to urge future residents of this & other Monoma properties to keep the property tidy and well-maintained. Not only for yourself and the neighbours, but also for the reputation of anti-squat living. Because only then will unique buildings like this remain available to live in through Monoma.

Marijn: "It is very unfortunate that the previous occupants did not take good care of the property. When you get to live in such a unique historic building, it's hard for me to understand why someone would damage the walls and throw parties on the rooftop."

For now, Marijn and Davey are still enjoying their unique living environment in Dordrecht, but they also know that one day this will come to an end. And then?

Marijn: "I would love to return to Belfast one more time. And then preferably in another historic building or a self-built house, preferably in a wooded area."

Davey: "A nice log cabin, closer to nature."

Do you also want to live in such a special location?

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