During the festive opening of the Freedom Museum in Groesbeek on July 5, excitement filled the air. Together with Nathanael Liminski, North Rhine Westphalia’s minister for European affairs, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte led the official opening proceedings. The museum is housed in a Shaded Dome, an innovation by Shaded Dome Technologies, founded by the architectural studio ZJA, Royal HaskoningDHV, and Polyned.
Special celebration of architecture and freedom
Wiel Lenders, director of the Freedom Museum Groesbeek, stated, ‘The Freedom Museum is a place where freedom comes to life and where visitors are taken on an inspiring journey through the history of war and freedom. We invite visitors to experience the unique architecture and meaningful appearance of the building, and to think critically about freedom then and now.’
Rob Torsing, architect-partner at ZJA, says, ‘The official opening of the museum marks the completion of a unique project. The Shaded Dome is a remarkable combination of innovation and sustainability, contributing to the unique architecture and character of the Freedom Museum in Groesbeek.’
Museum with a Shaded Dome as a roof
Amid the green hills of Groesbeek rises the impressive white dome of the new Freedom Museum in Groesbeek. The museum is shaped like a giant parachute that seems to have landed in the landscape, a reference to the thousands of parachutes that filled the sky during the liberation of the Nijmegen area (Rijk van Nijmegen) in September 1944. With its Shaded Dome for a roof, the building fits harmoniously into the hilly landscape, while at the same time being a distinctive eye-catcher.
Sustainable and flexible building with an optimal indoor climate
Kay Oosterman, architect-partner ZJA, says, ‘The Freedom Museum in Groesbeek is an extremely sustainable building with an optimal indoor climate, even in extreme weather conditions. Furthermore, the Shaded Dome makes efficient use of materials and technologies.’
The innovative building concept consists of a large open space supported by air pressure, a network of steel cables and a roof made of advanced textile. With a height of almost 12 metres at its peak and a free span of 60 metres, the Shaded Dome provides a versatile, flexible interior. As a result, the rooms in the museum, including the foyer, the restaurant and the exhibition spaces, can be adapted and rearranged easily and cost-effectively, making it possible to offer visitors a unique experience every time they come.
The museum has been open to the public since 2019, but because of the Covid pandemic the official opening was postponed for more than three years.