Keukenhof in Lisse, just outside Amsterdam, is the international showcase for Dutch flower cultivation. Over eight weeks from early March to mid-May, it is resplendent with everything Dutch flower cultivation has to offer: a 32-hectare extravaganza dedicated to early bloomers such as tulips and narcissi. This year, however, the masses of visitors were impressed by more than just the flowers themselves – the unusual new reception building was just as eye-catching.
Keukenhof is an important meeting place for dealers. This year alone, up to 25,000 visitors from all over the world flocked to the exhibition – which enjoyed its 68th season in 2017 – every day. In order to cope with the throngs and the growing visitor numbers, a new entrance have been built for the Keukenhof grounds. The project was designed and built by Mecanoo, an internationally renowned architecture firm from Delft. The transparent 3,200 m² building boasts a number of striking architectural features: with its graduated, diagonal, wooden design and enormous span, the bold, latticed roof is a structure that demands attention even from afar. Its woven isosceles triangles form an impressive gateway into the park that offers new and surprising perspectives from every angle. When viewed from below, the geometric shapes frame the Dutch sky beautifully, while from above, one can see the triangular shadows they cast on the ground. The same design is mirrored in the overhead partitions of the interior, which give areas such as the restaurant a bright, airy atmosphere. Keukenhof’s new calling card was built using purist materials such as wood, stone, glass and copper. These allow the building to match its surroundings perfectly. The gatehouse is home to the tills, an information desk and retail businesses. Sustainable and welcoming, its generous dimensions bring together all the facilities its visitors need.