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The Phoenix, Park Bloeyendael, Utrecht, Netherlands

The former accommodation for the beekeeper, the gardeners, the volunteers and visiting scholars in nature park Bloeyendael was demolished by vandalism. The foundation Bloeyendael, the organisation managing the park, wanted a new building which would not look like a fortress, but nevertheless be vandal proof.

FBW designed a lightweight building in the shape of a snail shell (Nautilus shell), with a timber structure from the inside and the outside cladded with corrugated sheets. In the opening of the shell, a glazed folding wall was placed which can be protected by a steel roll-down shutter. The basic shape of the shell exists of segments of a quarter of a circle that reduce in size according to the rules of the golden ratio.

The chimney and installations are located at the heart of the shell. Succulent plants cover the roof  and a steel net is projected over the corrugated sheets which make out the facades. Over time the building will be overgrown with all sorts of climbing plants and as a result naturally integrated within the green environment.

Project Details

Name The Phoenix
Client Gemeente Utrecht / Stichting Bloeyendael
Program Landscape
Location Park Bloeyendael, Utrecht, Netherlands
Date of design 1996 - 2000
Project team Antoni Folkers, Belinda van Buiten, Thierry van Baggem