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New museum building Naturalis reaches highest point
On Friday, September the 28th 2018, the new building for Naturalis Biodiversity Centre reached its highest point. This traditional moment in the construction was celebrated together with Naturalis and all others involved at the construction site in Leiden. Edwin van Huis, director of Naturalis, marked the highest point by placing one of the last elements of the striking, forty-meter high glass facade with a pattern of leaves and honeycomb.
Naturalis Biodiversity Centre is one of the top five institutes of the world in the field of biodiversity. Due to the growth of the collection, the increase in the number of researchers and the strong increase in visitor numbers at the museum, Naturalis decided to expand the institute. The renovation consists of a combination of new construction and renovation of the existing buildings. In total, the project comprises approximately 38,000 m2. Approximately 18,000 m2 of the existing building is being renovated. The biodiversity centre is also realizing a new laboratory building of approximately 3,000 m2 and approximately 17,000 m2 of new construction for the museum.
The design of Neutelings Riedijk Architects refers to the animal and plant world. For example, the facades and ceiling of the auditorium are made up of three-dimensional elements that together form a leaf pattern. This glass facade of more than 40 meters high is the eye-catcher of the new Naturalis.
The facade is realized on the basis of a hybrid construction: a combination of an underlying steel construction with 341 concrete façade elements. Hibex delivered these enormous prefab façade elements, in which the frame and the glazing are already included. By combining lozenge shapes and lying shapes, the striking leaf pattern is created.
Naturalis chooses, entirely in line with their organization, the application of materials that naturally age: natural stone, concrete, glass, steel and oak. The facades and the interior of the museum are made of sustainable materials and the installations used are also sustainable. In this way, the installation combination ULC-Kuijpers realizes the latest forms of sustainable ventilation and the complex will have its own heat-cold storage. In addition, 240 solar panels will be placed on the roof. The reopening of the museum is scheduled for mid-2019.
Click here for more information about this project.
Source: text and photography: J.P. van Eesteren