Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The Soestdijk Estate will be transformed into Eden Soestdijk; an experimental garden for a sustainable society and a paradise destination for all. That is the plan developed by the Eden Soestdijk foundation, Mecanoo architecten, Kossmann.dejong and Royal HaskoningDHV in response to the redevelopment competition for the Palace organised by the Dutch government.
The redevelopment of the Soestijk estate has a social purpose in creating a more sustainable society. An educative journey will touch all the visitors’ senses, triggering them to become more aware and conscious of the earth’s fragility.
Eden Soestdijk aims to make a significant contribution to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has international appeal and will be an economic, educative and cultural asset to the Netherlands.
An architectural greenhouse winding through the forest behind the palace gardens will be the main icon of Eden Soestdijk. Within this striking greenhouse visitors will be taken on an interactive expedition through spectacular landscapes highlighting topics of circularity, ecological balance and the social aspects of sustainability.
In the tropical rainforest you will experience the importance of biodiversity. Efficient and sustainable food production is the central message of the high-tech agricultural area. In a subterranean world you will see how fungi and bacteria work.
The results of climate change become visible in an icy artic landscape and the unique Martian landscape stresses the fragility of the earth from a cosmic perspective.
Anton Valk, chairman of the Eden Soestdijk foundation: “The world is facing pressure from increasingly larger and more complex problems when it comes to water, food, climate and energy. Eden Soestdijk wants to tackle these problems and contribute to a more sustainable society by stimulating and inspiring visitors to change their behaviour in a positive way.”
Francine Houben, creative director of Mecanoo architecten, one of the partners of Eden Soestdijk: “The Palace Soestdijk Estate is one of the most fairytale like surroundings of the Netherlands: the ideal canvas for Eden Soestdijk. The royal family has always cherished the relationship with the surrounding landscape. The plan for Eden Soestdijk responds to this in a beautiful manner.”
Marije Hulshof, member of the board of Royal HaskoningDHV and partner of Eden Soestdijk: “The best plans arise through the combination of diverse perspectives. That’s why we want to create Eden Soestdijk in dialogue with residents, local entrepreneurs and organisations of Baarn and Soest. This will deliver immense socio-economic benefit for the region.”