Mecanoo has unveiled its design to transform The Soestdijk Estate into Eden Soestdijk, “an experimental garden for a sustainable society and a paradise destination for all” in The Netherlands. In an effort to become an educational tool for environmental awareness, the project aims to make a significant contribution to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“The world is facing pressure from increasingly larger and more complex problems when it comes to water, food, climate and energy,” said Anton Valk, chairman of the Eden Soestdijk foundation. “Eden Soestdijk wants to tackle these problems and contribute to a more sustainable society by stimulating and inspiring visitors to change their behaviour in a positive way.”
An architectural greenhouse behind the palace gardens will be the centerpiece of the project, and will house an interactive exhibition focusing on topics like circularity, ecological balance, and social aspects of sustainability.
The existing palace and gardens will be restored to their original character. Chambers within the palace will showcase the estate’s history and residents, and will serve as cultural and business event space, as well as an incubator space for entrepreneurial sustainability efforts. Moreover, the wing chambers of the palace will house multimedia, interactive exhibitions.
“The palace gardens will be restored in full glory. Exciting, educative and fairytale-like gardens and landscapes strengthen the experience of nature. They will each connect with the central theme of sustainability while showcasing a unique individual atmosphere.”
A pedestrian and cycling tunnel beneath the Amsterdamse Straatweg will provide public access to the front square, which connects the palace and restaurant in the conservatory.
“The Palace Soestdijk Estate is one of the most fairytale like surroundings of the Netherlands: the ideal canvas for Eden Soestdijk,” noted Francine Houben, Creative Director at Mecanoo. “The royal family has always cherished the relationship with the surrounding landscape. The plan for Eden Soestdijk responds to this in a beautiful manner.”
From 2020 onwards, more than half a million visitors are expected to come to Eden Soestdijk annually, which is projected to feed 57 million euros back into the regional economy each year.
As a response to the redevelopment competition for the Palace organized by the Dutch government, the proposal is a collaboration between the Eden Soestdijk foundation, Mecanoo architecten, Kossmann.dejong and Royal HaskoningDHV. Development of the project additionally is in dialogue with residents, entrepreneurs, and organizations from the region.
Learn more about the project here.
News via Mecanoo.