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Foundation Palace Het Loo
Renovation and underground expansion of the National Museum Palace Het Loo
Apeldoorn / NL
AL_A and Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau

Palace Het Loo is a unique ensemble consisting of a late seventeenth-century palace, baroque gardens, a stables and a grand Basse-cour. The extensive renovation is aimed at improving and extending the visitors facilities. An underground amplification created new space to display the collection as well as temporary exhibitions.


The point of the departure for the design is to create a friendly and accessible museum, where past and present are connected in a natural way. By situating the building’s new spaces underground, the palace with be considerably expanded but in a reserved and respectful way. The historical identity of the building is left untouched.

From the elliptical shape of the Basse-cour an 8-shaped routing though the building swings smoothly downwards, with a mezzanine as its centre. After this first descent you will find yourself on the mezzanine level from which you can immediately see all the services that the museum has to offer. All new entrances are accessible to disabled people: in this new, accessible architecture everyone goes through the same door.

The renovation of Paleis Het Loo will transform the museum making it inviting and accessible to all visitors. It is a contemporary extension that does justice both to the past and to the future of the palace. It is a grand gesture with an inviting public entrance and natural routes across the building. The design not merely preserve, but strengthens the building’s monumental and heritage values. Present and past are ready for the future.


Palace Het Loo was a European competition to which NEXT was invited to participate, alongside 4 other leading architecture offices.