studio marco vermeulen tops renovated biesbosch museum with a grass roof
all images © ronald tilleman

 

 

 

after an eight month period of renovation, the biesbosch museum in the netherlands has reopened to the public. the institution has been transformed and extended by studio marco vermeulen with a new wing added that houses a restaurant and temporary exhibition space for contemporary art. the permanent display that explains the historical development of the region has been revamped by studio joyce langezaal.

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
the museum is located near the dutch city of dordrecht

 

 

 

located near the dutch city of dordrecht, the land around the existing museum building was removed, turning the site into a manmade island. the project was developed in response to safety concerns, with the area converted into a water-retention zone as part of a national safety program.

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
the area has been converted into a water-retention zone as part of a national safety program

 

 

 

the hexagonal structure of the original museum pavilions has been retained, with a new 1,000 square meter wing added to the south-western side of the building. featuring extensive areas of fenestration, the extension houses an organic restaurant that offers views of the adjacent landscape, as well as gallery space for temporary exhibitions. meanwhile, the existing structure houses the permanent exhibition, a library, a multipurpose theater, the entrance area, and the museum shop.

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
the hexagonal structure of the original museum pavilions was retained

 

 

 

both the old and new sections of the museum are surrounded by earthworks and covered with a roof of grass and herbs. this canopy is designed to add ecological value, standing as a sculptural object that reads as land art and, at the same time, manifests itself within the region’s landscape. a fold in the roof gives way to a mountain trail and a lookout post.

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
both the old and new sections of the museum are covered with a roof of grass and herbs

 

 

 

the holistic nature of the design minimizes energy consumption, with glazing fitted with heat-resistant glass that eliminates the need for blinds. meanwhile, the earthworks on the north-western side and the green roof serve as additional insulation and a heat buffer. on cold days, a biomass stove maintains the building’s temperature, while in warmer months, water from the river flows through the same piping to cool the museum.

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
the green canopy adds ecological value, standing as a sculptural object that reads as land art

 

 

 

sanitary wastewater is purified through an on-site willow filter. the vegetation absorbs the nutritious nitrogen and phosphate found in the wastewater, helping the willow trees to grow. the purified water is then discharged into the adjacent wetland area and flows into the river. once the willows are sawn and dried, the wood can be used as fuel for the biomass stove.

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
a fold in the roof gives way to a mountain trail and a lookout post

 

 

 

the museum island complex, set to be fully realized in the spring of 2016, will include a freshwater tidal park that receives river water through a newly dug creek. the tides and seasonal variations in water levels can be experienced thanks to the gentle slope. the topography also creates a rich diversity of flora and fauna, while the meandering pathway continuously changes in appearance as a result of changing water levels.

 

in 2012, around 35,000 people visited the museum, while in the first three months since the reopening, 30,000 guests have already attended the complex.

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
water continues inside the museum building

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
glazing is fitted with heat-resistant glass that eliminates the need for blinds

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
a permanent display explains the historical development of the region

studio marco vermeulen biesbosch museumeiland freshwater tidal park the netherlands designboom
the scheme was renovated within an eight-month time frame

 

 

project info:

 

client: biesbosch museum, werkendam
construction: renovation / new building
construction costs: ca. €3 million
construction time: 8 months
completed: june 2015
gross floor area: 1,300 sqm
existing renovation: 1,000 sqm
floor area exhibition: 900 sqm
program: museum (permanent and changing exhibition space), offices, visitor center, library, cinema, museum restaurant, offices. (museum garden and water playground – scheduled for mid-2016)