step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands

KAAn architecten designs expansion for Dutch Het Loo Palace

 

Paleis Het Loo (in English the Het Loo Palace), originally built in 1686 in Appeldoorn, the Netherlands, as a royal hunting palace for King William III and Queen Mary, has been transformed into a museum displaying the House of Orange-Nassau’s original furniture, objects, and paintings. As of April 2023, the museum features a modern extension, designed by KAAN Architecten, with expansive areas for both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The new expansion has been constructed directly beneath the palace’s courtyard to maintain the palace’s original view, which has remained unchanged for almost 350 years. 

 

designboom recently had the chance to step into the lavish world of the baroque Palace, and have an exclusive sneak peek into its intricate interiors and behind-the-scenes preparation of the new expansion, just in time for the museum’s grand re-opening on April 22nd, 2023. To find out more about the new expansion and Paleis Het Loo, read the full story below. 

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the palace as seen from the garden | all images courtesy of Paleis Het Loo

 

 

new extension fits seamlessly into the historic context

 

Paleis Het Loo (find more here) has undergone an ambitious transformation by KAAN Architecten (find more here) who created more than 5,000 sqm of new facilities and spaces, meticulously restoring the palace and carefully removing asbestos. The extension fits seamlessly into the existing site, and is placed underground. A new water feature was incorporated into the design, while preserving the Baroque composition of lush gardens and water elements. The Bassecour, an inner courtyard between the palace wings, was transformed into a stunning space with a central fountain and glass surfaces with natural stone and flowing water, reminiscent of the historic gardens. The shallow ponds that serve as the roof of the new extension mirror the palace and allow daylight to pass through, creating a brilliant effect.

 

Entrance pavilions are located at the ends of the palace wings, leading visitors onto the light-filled balcony and into the Grand Foyer, which serves as the central focal point of the extension. The Grand Foyer maintains the symmetry of the Baroque composition and visually connects to the historic building through a glass roof, while a large compass rose in the floor marks the center of the extension and offers visitors various directions to explore.

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the grand foyer of the new extension

 

 

elegant restrained finishes and harmonious textures

 

As part of the intervention, the historic building underwent careful restoration to improve technology and climate control systems, and a new staircase was added to provide panoramic views of the grounds. The finishes in the new building are elegant and restrained, with textures and materials blending harmoniously. Walnut wood, marble with alternating sandblasted, honed, and polished surfaces, and opulent fabrics with metallic threads are used throughout, referencing the gardens and the ornate halls of the original palace.

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the shallow ponds that serve as the roof of the new extension allow daylight to pass through

 

 

The new underground extension spanning over 5000 sqm has been constructed to accommodate a permanent exhibition that delves into the rich history of the Dutch royal family and their contributions to the Netherlands, Europe, and beyond. The expansive exhibition space includes several galleries that explore the multifaceted concept of ‘monarchy’ from various perspectives such as education (the evolving approach to monarch education over time) and privacy (the implications of living a public life). In addition, the exhibition showcases diverse portraits of the Dutch royal family spanning different styles and eras, including noteworthy pieces by renowned artists such as Mondrian and Andy Warhol.

 

‘The opening of the museum gives something totally new to the world. Now Paleis Het Loo brings extra relevance and a different and new meaning to the history and concept of ‘monarchy’. As an independent, national institution we explore all faces and connotations of the word ‘royalty’ for all societies and people of all backgrounds. The underground extension brings together contemporary design and history with respect to the 17th-century palace as a unique collection piece.’ shares Michel van Maarseveen, General Director of Paleis Het Loo. 

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the finishes in the new building are elegant and restrained, with textures and materials blending harmoniously

 

 

about paleis het loo

 

Originally designed as a summer palace for Dutch stadtholder Willem and his wife Mary Stewart in 1686, just before they took up the mantle of heads of state for England, Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands, Paleis Het Loo served as a residence for the Dutch royal family until the 1970s. Since 1984, it has functioned as an autonomous national museum.

 

After a four-year-long and thorough renovation and conservation effort, the unique 17th-century former royal palace reopened in April 2022. The goal was to upgrade the palace’s sustainability, health, and safety standards to meet contemporary needs. Paleis Het Loo offers a glimpse into the court and country life of stadtholders, kings, and queens for more than three centuries, and it serves as both a palace and a home. The palace concentrates on King-Stadtholder Willem III and Mary Stuart, both from the 17th century, and Queen Wilhelmina, who lived during the 19th and 20th centuries. Because the House of Orange’s history is inextricably linked to Europe and beyond, the palace and museum remain relevant on an international level.

 

With the reopening, Paleis Het Loo has taken a new approach, emphasizing a critical, contemporary, and comprehensive mission. It is the first museum globally to explore the concept of monarchy while a royal family still reigns.

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the expansive exhibition space includes several galleries that explore the multifaceted concept of ‘monarchy’

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the exhibition showcases diverse portraits of the Dutch royal family spanning different styles and eras

kaan-architects-paleis-het-loo-extension-netherlands-designboom-full-width-01

the portrait collection includes pieces by renowned artists such as Mondrian and Andy Warhol

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the temporary exhibition space

kaan-architects-paleis-het-loo-extension-netherlands-designboom-full-width-02

the staircase that leads to the palace

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
Orange Blossom installation

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the garden of Paleis Het Loo from above

step inside KAAN's marble-clad extension for historic het loo palace in the netherlands
the Globe fountain

kaan-architects-paleis-het-loo-extension-netherlands-designboom-full-02

the upper garden of the palace

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

happening now! on its 35th participation at salone del mobile, pedrali unveiled eleven new collections for indoor and outdoor spaces, including brand new collections and extensions of existing collections! 

architecture in the netherlands (358)

KAAN architecten (13)

museums and galleries (668)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5