Hof van Heeckeren

Hof van Heeckeren
  • Culture
  • Public
  • Transformation
  • Interior
  • Restoration
  • Sustainability

In Zutphen, the 17th-century City Palace Hof van Heeckeren has been transformed into a vibrant cultural cluster housing the Stedelijk Museum Zutphen, Museum Henriette Polak and the Municipal Archaeology Department. 

The City Palace was created in the 17th century by bringing together various medieval buildings, and has been used as a legal training centre for the past 25 years. The large-scale restoration and transformation of the building complex has been combined with a new entrance pavilion in the garden.

Access to the Zutphen Museums is now located on the ‘s-Gravenhof square, the oldest square in Zutphen, where the monumental shell dome by Swedish architect Horleman from 1697 acts as the entrance to the courtyard of the renovated complex. The garden has been redesigned to be a green, public space right in the middle of the historic city centre and is a creation by Lola Landscape Architects.

  • Design: 2015
  • Client: Gemeente Zutphen
  • Location: Zutphen
  • Delivery: 2017
Museum garden with a view of the former city palace and new entrance pavilion

‘We have designed the new transparent pavilion with its entrance hall, museum shop and auditorium in the shape of a contemporary orangery against the monumental garden wall.’

New pavilion
Entrance hall with museum shop

The garden features a new transparent pavilion with an entrance hall, museum shop and auditorium. This extension has been designed as a contemporary orangery against the monumental garden wall. The orangery is the start of the public route through the galleries in the various historical building sections. The existing listed building has been completely restored and transformed into a museum. The historic structure has been revealed more clearly by removing later additions and restoring original elements such as beamed ceilings, doors and window frames. The Stedelijk Museum is located on the ground floor and in the cellar whilst Museum Henriette Polak is on the first floor. The museums share a wing which contains galleries for temporary exhibitions. The wing has been structurally optimised in order to meet the strict climate and safety requirements for temporary exhibitions. A new staircase has been designed between the two floors, which enables the temporary exhibition space to have its own route.

Auditorium in new entrance pavilion
Wardrobe in existing monument
Museum space Stedelijk museum
Room for changing exhibitions

The main requirements of the transformation project of the City Palace were improvement of the interior climate, enhanced sustainability of the national monument, a reduction in operational costs and excellent security. Climate, light and security systems have been cleverly integrated into the construction . The air ducts have been installed in the structural floors and walls and air is blown in through structural cracks, without grilles. Lighting is fully LED- and sensor-based, and heating is based on a low temperature using heat recovery from ventilation air. The façades have been insulated in the interior and the monumental windows have been fitted with secondary windows. On the exterior, automatically operated shutters have been installed to improve regulation of the museum climate, manage sunlight and optimise security.

Museum space Museum Henriette Polak

‘This project allowed us to show off many aspects of the firm’s expertise: designing a public building, including its interior, restoring an important listed building, enhancing sustainability, and integrating complex technology into a monumental structure.’

Janneke Bierman, director and project architect
Basement room Stedelijk Museum
View from museum route to restoration studio
New pavilion in garden with green roof

Project team

Janneke Bierman Yvonne Segers-van Wilderen Mieke Weterings Henk van Laarhoven Elkie Goos Fabian Vos Mirjam Steins

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