Architects: René van Zuuk Architects
Location: Zeewolde, The Netherlands
Architect In Charge: René van Zuuk
Structural Engineer: Van de Laar
Building Contractor: Kingma Bouw
Area: 375 sqm
Photographs: Christian Richters, Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects
The ‘art track Zeewolde’ is a seven kilometre route passing through an open air exhibition of high quality sculptural art. This sculpture park flows out into the pond that is surrounded by green slopes, it is here that the art pavilion “The Imagination” is located.
Initially, the project was allocated a site hidden behind a school and sports complex. Eventually the site was exchanged for a prime location in the middle of the water at the end of the ’art track’, here the pavilion acts as an organizational centre for events, exhibitions and lectures.
The art track owes a lot of its reputation to the sculpture by Richard Serra called Sea Level. The elongated shape of the pavilion stems from Serra’s black concrete wall. Inspiration for the design was also taken from the construction barns, the first building built in the Polder. There was a limited budget for the pavilion and this type of construction is especially cheap to manufacture. All of the trusses are identical but they are all placed at a slightly different angle creating an elegantly twisted roofscape.
This subtle rotation causes a tectonic fault in the ridge where the trusses almost meet. The shifted roof surfaces subsequently provide indirect daylight. The roof is constructed of profiled steel sheeting and cladded with corrugated aluminium on the exterior. Internally the steel sheeting covered, partly, with gypsum plasterboard. Office spaces, rest rooms, storage and a little library space are placed in the main volume as two autonomous wooden boxes.
At ground level a glass strip is used as a transparent plinth, this lifts the building off the ground and contributes to an airy feeling. The view out onto the water through the glass plinth evokes a sense of the building floating, there is also a constant reflection of water patterns on the ceiling enhancing a rolling sensation instigated by the curved angles. The glazed end wall provides a view across the pond and sculpture garden.