13 Jan Glass Visitor Center Park Vijversburg / junya ishigami + associates + Studio MAKS
Glass Visitor Center Park Vijversburg / junya ishigami + associates + Studio MAKS
Text description provided by the architects. Park Vijversburg, situated in the north of the Netherlands, is an 18th century estate that has been open to the public since 1892. Throughout the year, the park hosts many events such as international art exhibitions, musical performances, church services and excursions.
In 2011 Ishigami and Kums won the competition for a new visitor center. To accommodate the increasing number of visitors, the client asked for a new extension to the historical villa to be used as a meeting and exhibition space. The old villa and surrounding park were to be treated with the utmost care, as they are both national monuments.
The design consists of three lines, thin glass facades that stretch into the park and follow the existing natural elements: a pond, a tree line, and the villa garden. These three elevations reflect the natural surroundings and make the pavilion and landscape blend into one another.
The central space lies partially sunken into the landscape; softly undulating slopes guide visitors from the large scale exterior of the park into the heart of the building, one meter below ground level. It thus reduces the impact of the building on its surroundings, gives the interior a certain intimacy and provides visitors with another perspective on the landscape.
In order to create fully unobstructed views towards the surroundings, the use of additional structural elements, such as columns and walls, were avoided. Instead, the insulated and extra clear glass walls themselves carry the roof. The triangular shape helps to avoid using transverse walls while maintaining a free span of fifteen meters. This innovative structural glazing design was developed in collaboration with ABT and Jun Sato structural engineers.