Pure Nature: Park Pavilion in De Hoge Veluwe National Park
Architect: De Zwarte Hond, Monadnock
Location: 6731 Otterlo (NL)
Only a handful of buildings can be found in the Netherlands De Hoge Veluwe National Park. One of them is the Park Pavilion, which is the most recent addition. It receives visitors amid the picturesque landscape. The architect duo designed the structure as an arched, two-storey volume topped with a double roof. Champagne-coloured eloxated aluminum characterizes the shell of the visitor centre. In the form of rib-like coverings, it decks the glazed end faces and clads the roof surfaces, which extend low towards the ground and convey a sense of intimacy. While the rear side of the building is of brick, which gives it a more closed-off appearance, a roof-high, concertina-style window opens onto the nature park along the outwardly curved face.
The glass façade, which zigzags in and out, creates cosy niches inside; these can be used in various ways and offer unobstructed views of the natural surroundings. Behind these, the heart of the new pavilion joins in as a large hall. This is accessed via the central entrance and is divided into the lobby, restaurant area and shop. The long, arched space is spanned by a vaulted ceiling whose white-plastered interior features a play of shadows that resembles a leaf canopy. Bespoke luminaires by light designer Beernielsen conjure up a vivid pattern on the ceiling. An imposing stairway leads to the upper level. This area is home to a large, forest-facing balcony which forms the only aperture in the otherwise closed rear side of the building, as well as conference rooms and offices. All the spaces are flexibly arranged and can be adapted as needed.
The large windows not only let a lot of daylight into the pavilion, they also work with light-coloured surfaces and high-quality materials such as wood and leather to create a bright, comfortable ambience where visitors can relax. An open fireplace, seating niches and custom-made furnishings complete the diverse areas. With solar modules and energy-storage systems, as well as the painstaking execution of all details, the architects give the new building in the national park a sustainable element as well.