Pinetum Blijdenstein

Pinetum Blijdenstein is a specialized arboretum, a coniferous tree garden, which was founded in Hilversum in 1898. The pinetum has a size of two hectares and a collection of about 400 pine trees and conifers as well as a variety of tropical plants in its greenhouses. The Pinetum is part of the Dutch National Plant Collection and has one of the most important collections of conifers in the world. A competition was issued for the design of a multifunctional pavilion in the garden to host wedding ceremonies, music and theater performances.


The design proposal draws inspiration from the specific way trees are planted in the garden, namely with a round tree dripline with the size of the crown of the tree. When trees are planted close together, the round driplines melt together into a unique organic shape. The design for the pavilion imitates this spatial planting process. The columns of the pavilion are treated like trees, the stage is designed as an organic dripline and the roof reacts to the shape of the treetops making the pavilion naturally settle between the trees of the existing garden.


The steel structure of the roof and the wooden floor mirror each other, due to the fact that they are both based on a grid of 1×1 meter. Columns are few and placed exactly on the grid which gives the columns a cross-shape. The diverse use of the materials, black steel, a wooden floor and a concrete fire-place is in contrast with the simple and soft shape of the floor and the roof. The pavilion can be opened to different extents by a three-layered white translucent curtain to create a more intimate space, or to curate different views towards the garden. At the same time the curtains can serve as an acoustic screen during a musical performance, or as a rain screen during a yoga exercise. The addition of a fireplace ensures that the pavilion is a pleasant place to stay in the winter, when the curtain around the pavilion is closed. The fireplace increases the surrealist quality of the pavilion, whereby the feeling of ‘being inside’ and ‘being outside’ fade.


Location : Hilversum, The Netherlands

Client : Foundation Pinetum Blijdenstein
Program : Multifunctional pavilion

Area : 52m2

Status : Competition, 2018. Final selection.

Project team: Freyke Hartemink, Jarrik Ouburg, Carsten Hilgendorf