Students design pavilion for Soestdijk Palace

News - 01 June 2021 - Communication BK

Complex Projects students have submitted 11 different designs for sustainable, circular and modular pavilions to the design contest set out by Soestdijk Palace. The winning design will be developed, built and installed at the estate when Soestdijk Palace | Made by Holland opens.

The assignment was to design a pavilion to house exhibitions and presentations on innovations concerning nature, health and a sustainable future. As well as sustainable and circular, the pavilion had to be modular so that it could be installed at various locations. 

The assignment was based on the AREA Framework, an analysis and design tool developed in a Complex Projects graduation studio. This tool is used to approach sustainable design in a holistic and integrated way. It takes account of social and economic aspects as well as energy, the environment and raw materials.

The AREA Framework takes a holistic approach, as a range of social and ecological issues require urgent action. Billions of people across the globe lack decent housing, have no access to healthcare and live below the poverty line. At the same time, our planet faces environmental threats, dwindling resources and climate change. To address these problems effectively, the UN has identified a number of Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). In addition, more and more quality marks are being introduced to promote sustainability. However, current design and certification methods often lack an integrated approach. Purportedly sustainable designs do not always have a truly sustainable impact, for instance, because they fail to contribute sufficiently to the overall achievement of the UNSDGs. Using the AREA Framework ensures that these aspects are approached in an integral manner. 

Forty-eight students signed up for the Complex Projects studio. They were divided into 11 groups that worked on the assignment for 10 weeks, the first three of which were devoted to research into the AREA Framework. This provided the basis for the integrated and comprehensive programme of requirements. 


At the end of April, the following jury members met to deliberate: Frans van der Avert, Charlotte Uiterwaal, Anne Schaepman (Soestdijk Palace| Made by Holland), Jan Jongert (Super Use), Rob van Lith (New Horizon) and Kees Kaan (TU Delft). 

“The TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Complex Projects, is part of the Soestdijk Academy. The Academy aims to offer students a platform where they can learn, conduct research and gain experience. The assignment to design a pavilion is in line with our ambition to transform Soestdijk Palace into a circular estate.”
Frans van der Avert, Director of Soestdijk Palace I Made by Holland.

The jury was impressed by the quality of all 11 of the designs presented. After a lengthy appraisal, the decision was taken to nominate two finalists: 'Incremental Equilibrium' and 'Routes over Roots'. Both projects will require additional research and refinement of the design. In the coming months, the management of Soestdijk Palace | Made by Holland will discuss how to take the process further.

‘Incremental Equilibrium’ | Team: Raluca Bratfae-Igna, Ingo Aelbers, Lucas Mézière, Adrian Beijaard | Teacher: Henri van Bennekom
‘Routes over Roots’ | Team: Jelmer Eising, Jaap Koopman, Agata Mila, Dino Vojvodic | Teacher: Aleksander Staničić

“We found it highly informative to see how the international students in particular view sustainability and energy neutrality. The biggest compliment of all was to hear from our students that they had been pleasantly surprised to discover that sustainable design involves so much more than solar panels and insulation!” Henri van Bennekom – TU Delft

About Soestdijk Palace I Made by Holland

Soestdijk Palace has been owned by MeyerBergman Erfgoed Groep since December 2017. The palace, which was built over 350 years ago, is now at the dawn of a new phase in its existence. In the coming years, the estate will be thoroughly restored and renovated, and prepared for its new function. In 2024, the new Soestdijk Palace | Made by Holland will open as an inspiring platform, stage and landing spot for Dutch innovation and enterprise. Before long, Dutch solutions to global challenges will be presented here to the general public in the form of temporary exhibitions, lectures and a wide range of educational offerings. 

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