Neutelings Riedijk Architects have revealed the final design for the expansion and renovation of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands. With construction set to begin in October 2015, the rejuvenation scheme will see the renovation of 20,000m2 of the existing museum and the construction of an additional 19,000m2.
Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.
The expansion project was prompted by the absorption of the Zoological Museum in Amsterdam and National Herbarium of Leiden into the existing Natural History Museum 'Naturalis'. Upon completion, the Naturalis Biodiversity Center will house the museum's displays, employees, and 37-million strong collection of artifacts. Containing the only T-Rex dinosaur skeleton outside of the USA, the museum's catalogue will place it within the top five of its kind in the world.
Neutelings Riedijk Architects' design is bisected by a 36-metre high atrium that distinguishes the existing museum from the new, while forming a meeting point between the building's multiple programs. Alongside exhibition and storage space, the Naturalis Biodiversity Center will also contain a laboratory, car park, office, and numerous spaces for educational and public use.
A gently sloped staircase will provide a continuous route through the various exhibition halls, and create a viewing hierarchy that allows visitors to admire the collection at all stages of the 'museum mountain'. The halls are to be stacked in ascending order from large to small, and bordered by balconies overlooking the central atrium.
The envisioned material palette is 'honest, durable, and robust', according to the architects, drawing on natural stone, concrete, glass, steel, and oak wood. Homage is to be paid to the flora and fauna of the museum's collection, with leaf patterns, coral designs, and fossil reliefs appearing in various surface details.
The expansion is scheduled for completion and re-opening to the public by early 2018.
LocationDarwinweg 2, 2333 CR Leiden, The Netherlands
PhotographsCourtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architecten, Rotterdam