In the past it were two houses. First in the 20th century, the left building got a third floor and on top of both houses a new roof constructions, making the houses to become one  building.

The houses at Melkmarkt 2-4 date from the middle-ages.
The current view was created in the beginning of the 20th centure.

The map of Zwolle (Swol) to the right is attributed to Jacob van Deventer. It dates from the early 1500's. But Zwolle then already existed a few ages. And the roots of the buiding that today is the Bluefinger Innovation Centre too.
A number of beams with which the building was raised were dated from 1381.
When we, early 2021, bought the property and made it convenient for the BIC, we decided that we absolutely needed an elevator to unlock the whole building.
This is why we discovered the ancient beams.

Since we started to build a Scandinavian restaurant*) on the ground floor, we made food platters from the beams and the floorboards from the higher floors, that stem from trees that were cut down in Southern Norway in 1659.
Our curiousness about the origin of the wood made us invite a wood dating expert to investigate about the origin. The expert, Paul Borghaers, found that the oak beams originated from trees that were cut 1381 in Westfalen, and the floorboards higher in the house from Norwegian wood.
The dating of the wood was executed with great certainty, because the annual rings were very visible. Only 3 houses in Zwolle are known with this type of carrying constructon.

*) because of the Corona lockdowns and the fact that many people had left the restaurant world (we could not find enough personnel), we were forced to close down. Nowadays we house a Turkish restaurant on our ground floor.

Circular economy and re-use
Of course we endorse, as real innovators, the principles of circular economy. 

One of the things we oppose strongly is dumping old solutions. We want to reuse as much as possible. Not only beams and floorboards, but we reused also the interior of our predecessor, a women's fashion store. They left their fitting rooms and shelves. We recreated these to a beautiful café bar and showcase vitrines.
When we stopped with the scandinavian restaurant, we moved the café bar to the third floor, where the meetings of our innovators network take place.
The showcase vitrines are used in the entrance hall and above the café bar.

Historical Awareness
It's not only our wish to reuse old beams and floorboards.
In our vision  we need to have respect for the origin of things and the history of traditions and uses, it makes us more aware of the 'why' of things. Understanding the rootcause of things makes you a better innovator. Respect for the traditional grounds and historical 'tacit know-how' makes you more successful in transitions, transformations and metamorphosis and more capable to bring about paradigm shifts.

The Bluefinger Innovation Centre fits perfectly in with the strategy of the city of Zwolle, to manifest itself as an innovative trades-oriented Hanseatic city. Knowing that the Haseatic League, the medieval co-operation between the countries around the Nortsea and Baltic, in fact was a precursor of the current EU, fits well in the focus of the Strategic Agenda of Zwolle.
The fundament of BIC is really the co-operation between the Netherlands and Sweden, two top countries in innovation.
Both countries belong to the top. The Netherlands in particilar in the area of technical innovation. Sweden in particular with innovation deriving from societal needs (IKEA, Spotify, Klarna, iZettle, etc). The models we use in the Bluefinger Innovation Centre, the accelerated development of human innovation power, have their roots in both cultures.

The Bluefinger Innovation Centre (BIC) is one of the few centers, in which human development capability is the central issue.

The internal design of our building, and the furnishing of it, play an important role in this. Human needs like expression and curiosity are important sources of innovation.
Also historical awareness plays an important role in our furnishing.
For instance the exhibitions of the history of photography and IT in our entrance hall and on the third floor.
Our theme 'MOOSE' (Making Outstanding Originals Socialize and Engage) and our mascot, the moose, focuses the attention to the growth process of our participants to grown-up entrepreneurs.

Finally, in our building, we also try to focus your attention on the theme Evolution & Development.
The painting Alfa en Omega represents the development of human beings. Our Innovation Centre tries to accelerate your mental and personality development.
By encouraging you through the phases of curious ambition through entrepreneurial experience and towards recognised leadership and life long learning.

We sincerely believe in our mission and hope that our building will inspire you in your journey.