Excerpt: Freedom Museum, designed by Architectural Studio ZJA, houses a Shaded Dome as its roof, being a distinctive and recognizable shape with its fluid form and skin, fits into the green, hilly landscape of Groesbeek, Netherlands. The shape of the Shaded Dome in the Museum is an elongated cupola of light fabric, alluding to the parachutes that filled the sky during Operation Market Garden, a recognizable symbol of liberation at the end of the second world war.
[Text as submitted by architect] The Freedom Museum in Groesbeek, the Netherlands, has the shape of an enormous parachute, a recognizable symbol of liberation at the end of the war. The museum is housed in a Shaded Dome, an innovation of Shaded Dome Technologies, a company founded by architectural studio ZJA, Royal HaskoningDHV and Polyned. With a Shaded Dome as its roof, the museum has a distinctive and recognizable shape, but with its fluid form and its skin, it also fits into the green, hilly landscape of Groesbeek.
Shaded Dome as a distinctive eye-catcher
The shape of the Shaded Dome in Groesbeek is that of an elongated cupola of light fabric, alluding to the parachutes that filled the sky during Operation Market Garden. The building, sited on a flattened hilltop, is slightly tilted towards the valley and cut away in that direction, to create an obvious entrance. The offices and depot are below ground, giving the restaurant a view of the valley from which the Allied divisions once moved towards Germany.
Part of the landscape
Seen from the road, the slightly tilted dome is positioned towards the back of the flat hilltop. This creates space for open-air events and for greenery between the museum and the Canadian military cemetery. The flowing shape, the use of materials and the skin, which evokes associations with the parachutes of the liberating forces, ensure that the Freedom Museum fits into this rolling landscape with its winding roads and verdant vistas.
Dome supported by air pressure
The Shaded Dome, placed on a concrete plinth with doors and windows, consists of a dome supported by air pressure, a network of steel cables and a roof made of hi-tech textile with a large span. The dome is made of an insulated inner and outer fabric, kept apart by spacers.
As the roof is inflated, the self-righting spacers become erect, creating a cavity between them in which natural airflow quickly and automatically carries away the heat of the sun. Because of its two-layered structure, with an inner and outer fabric and a 50-centimetre cavity in between, the Shaded Dome requires markedly less energy than existing tentlike structures to create a comfortable and healthy indoor climate.
Because the inflatable dome is supported entirely by air pressure, the indoor space has no pillars and its entire 2,400 square metres can be divided up at will. At its tallest point, the Freedom Museum is 12 metres high, and it has a free span of 60 metres, so the rooms in the museum, with its reception, museum café and exhibition spaces, can easily be reconfigured without great expense.
Iconic museum in a green landscape
For relatively low building costs, the Freedom Museum has acquired an iconic building that meets the tough demands made of a museum climate. A distinctive eyecatcher in the green, rolling landscape.