VolkerWessels to expand Dutch museum underground

Dutch construction firm VolkerWessels has been chosen to build an underground expansion of the Woods Palace, a baroque mansion that used to be a seat of the House of Orange, and which now houses a collection of painting from the 17th century.

The expansion of the museum, which is in Apeldoorn in the central Netherlands, will connect the wings of the existing palace to the main building.

Work will include excavating a 10m deep pit with an area of nearly 4,500 sq m. This will be anchored with 4,000 cubic metres of steel fibre-reinforced underwater concrete.

Some 400m of walls will be installed around the whole courtyard as well as underneath four sections of the existing buildings. The entire job will involve removing around 45,000 cubic metres of soil.

The full expansion will add an entrance area and exhibition rooms. These will connect with the palace, the gardens, the exhibition rooms and the Junior Palace, which is aimed at children.

Construction work for the underground expansion will start in January 2018, with the grand reopening of the fully renovated palace scheduled for the spring of 2021.  

The palace was built between 1684 and 1686 for William of Orange. It was used by the House of Orange-Nassau until the death of Queen Wilhelmina in 1962.

Images courtesy of VolkerWessels (Paleis Het Loo museum/KAAN Architecten/Stef Verstraaten)

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