Portrait Pavilion

Portrait Pavilion by architects Jarrik Ouburg and Paulien Bremmer openingPortrait Pavilion by architects Jarrik Ouburg and Paulien Bremmer

The portrait pavilion in the ballroom of the ancient Duivenvoorde Castle was the centrepiece of the celebration of the museums 50th anniversary. Eight centuries of history, hundreds of visitors, 140 paintings from the collection and dozens of contemporary (art) portraits were brought together from October 16 – 23 2010, like a Facebook avant la lettre.

Duivenvoorde Castle, (Kasteel Duivenvoorde) is located in the town of Voorschoten, between Leiden and The Hague- Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands. The castle dates back to the early 13th century – it was first mentioned in 1226 – making it one of the older castles in Zuid-Holland, when it was a defensive tower surrounded by a moat. The present style is the result of architectural modifications and restoration works which took place from the 17th through the 19th century.

Duivenvoorde CastleDuivenvoorde Castle

The interior of the ballroom, dating back to 1717, has a unique Louis XIV style and is attributed to court architect Daniel Marot. The rich woodwork contains life-sized portraits of the successive generations who lived at the castle. In addition the museum has a collection of 131 (family) portraits on display spread over the different halls and rooms of the castle.

CoOB, a collaboration between architecture firms Office Jarrik Ouburg and Paulien Bremmer Architects, designed a so-called Portrait Pavilion, together with Non-fiction.

Family portraitsSelection of portraits from the castle’s collection, depicting family members

Like the art collectors did in the 17th century or like the virtual space of Facebook, the entire collection of portraits is assembled into one place. All portraits are scanned, reproduced in black and white and suspended on the bright-lit walls in the pavilion, forming the basis of the exhibition. Several artists were invited to bring a personal portrait and add a contemporary layer whereby the life-sized portraits function as a historical backdrop.

Portrait Pavilion, designed by Jarrik Ouburg and Paulien Bremmer

Portrait Pavilion by architects Jarrik Ouburg and Paulien Bremmer

The hexagonal shape of the pavilion is an extrusion of the central pattern in the existing broadloom carpet. The exterior of the pavilion is clad with acrylic sheets with a mirroring surface. Because of the mirroring, the interior of the baroque room becomes an even more excessive space whereby the pavilion, ballroom, visitor and portraits visually merge into one complex image.

Click here to read more about the concept.  This event was part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration. Together with the graphic and interaction designers of Grrr we developed a special Facebook-pageFrame Magazine, one of the world’s leading trade magazine about interior and product design, featured the pavilion on its homepage.

Composer Michel van der Aa presenting his musical ode to LigetiComposer Michel van der Aa presenting his musical ode to Ligeti 

We would like to thank the museum’s staff and board and everyone who participated, including Michel van der Aa / Hans Aarsman / Jack Bakker / Pierre Bastien / Simon Bosch / Amie Dicke / Daniël Bouw / Roy Cremers / Frans Damman / Michael Defuster / Terry van Druten / Arne Hendriks / Fons Hof / Miklos Gaál / Xander Karskens / Annelien Kers / Hendrik Kerstens / Dirk Kome / Matthew Lutz-kinoy / Suzanne van der Lingen / Viktorija Medvedeva / Nalden / Taco de Neef / Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen / Koen Nutters / Eva Pajkrt / Gabriel Rolt / Radna Rumping / Wim van Sinderen / Sarah van Sonsbeeck / Mette Sterre / Arnoud Traa / Mirjana Vrbaski / Aline Weyel and many others!

Children's workshop (photo by Paulien Bremmer)Workshop portrait-making by Dutch artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck


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