Tulips and triangles star at Mecanoo's elegant gateway to 'the Garden of Europe'

Tulips, timber and triangles are at the heart of an elegant timber gateway created by architecture studio Mecanoo for Keukenhof – one of the world's largest flower gardens.

The 79 acre park, located in the Dutch town Lisse, is popular among domestic and international tourists who travel to see Keukenhof’s impressive selection of flora and fauna. Approximately seven million flower bulbs are planted there annually and it is nicknamed ‘the Garden of Europe’.

Mecanoo were tasked with creating a transition space between the outside world and this world of flowers, housing a restaurant, shops and other visitor facilities.

Their solution was a modern, prominently glazed building with a dramatic overhanging timber roof, creates both a shelter for visitors and a gateway to a forecourt and landscaped plaza beyond.

The timber roof structure, which leans on two volumes, has been created using interwoven isosceles triangles that form skylights, creating an ever-changing play of light and shadow. If guests look up they will see the Dutch sky framed by the timber triangles; look down, and they will see triangular shadows on the ground.

“The use of natural materials – wood, copper and brick – lends character to the building without being a distraction from its environment,” said the architects in a statement. “On a beautiful spring day, the glazed facade can be opened almost entirely, blending the interior with the exterior. Ponds with fountains provide a suitable ambiance for a pleasant day out and sitting on the spacious terraces, visitors are treated to views over the largest tulip field inside the park.”

Timber motifs are prominent in the fencing around the building, “marking the beginning of a journey of discovery” into the park.

Construction of the 3,200sq m (34,400sq ft) project began in 2015, and the design was developed in 2008.

Mecanoo are working on a number of international projects, including an expansive experimental garden in the grounds of the Netherlands' Soestdijk Palace, a public library in Tainan and the renovation of New York Public Library.

Mecanoo  Keukenhof  architecture  design 
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Tulips, timber and triangles are at the heart of an elegant timber gateway created by architecture studio Mecanoo for Keukenhof – one of the world's largest flower gardens. The 79 acre park, located in the Dutch town Lisse, is popular among domestic and international tourists who travel to see Keukenhof’s impressive selection of flora and fauna. Approximately seven million flower bulbs are planted there annually and it is nicknamed ‘the
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Mecanoo were tasked with creating a transition space between the outside world and this world of flowers / Mecanoo architecten
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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