Visitor centre, Duivenvoorde, Netherlands
Architects: 70F architecture
King of the castle
70F architecture has designed a visitor centre that ‘lives’...
Hof van Duivenvoorde (Duivenvoordes Courtyard) has nine movable facade parts that open up the building in the morning and close it at night. When the façade is open the building is a light restaurant, when it’s closed it becomes a modest barn that disappears in its surroundings.
Hof van Duivenvoorde is the visitor’s center that belongs to Duivenvoorde Castle and Estate, a national monument in the city of Voorschoten. The Duivenvoorde foundation commissioned 70F architecture to create a building that would look like a barn but at the same time be transparent and have a welcoming atmosphere.
The solution, with its movable facade parts was a direct hit with the commissioner, but turned out to be difficult to execute. No hatch producer or hinge supplier was up for the challenge. Bas ten Brinke, owner of 70F architecture, therefore decided to do the engineering himself.
Hof van Duivenvoorde includes a restaurant, a museum shop and space for the volunteers who give guided tours in the castle and around the estate. The building is relatively small – 6 x 30 m – but feels spacious because of the high transparency. You can look from one side of the building to the other. The space above the kitchen (in the far end of the building) and the sanitary unit (in the middle) are left open, thus showing the roof and it’s construction in it entirety. Some of the fixed windows continue up and over the roof-ridge into the back roof plane, towards the monumental garden wall.
The building is an example of modern architecture, fitting seamlessly in its 13th century surroundings defined by the castle.
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