Hotel Van Der Valk
25 maart 2020
Castles used to line the travellers’ route, visible from afar and promising protection on dangerous journeys. The van der Valk Hotel in Zwolle is one of these castles, however, instead of being centuries old, it is new. Seen from the motorway, the substantial, compact form of the hotel rises above the flat Dutch hinterland. It is secured against intruders, storm floods and high water, an oblong volume is placed on high supports and set on a flat, massive block. ALUCOBOND® elements in three different colours accentuate the basic shapes of both oblong building and underlying block. A modern exterior envelope with clearly legible lines. The interior, however, reveals a feudal, baroque-looking world featuring marble stone floors, dark walls, heavy carpets, opulently upholstered furniture in dark leather and deep buttoned velvet in soft powder tones. A meter-long curtain lamp made of shell limestone is suspended from the ceiling, and the walls are covered in leather, textured wallpaper and baroque landscape scenes. The greatest luxury of all: space, extra-wide stairs, galleries and tables. No corners have been cut. Guests can feel as grand and noble as William of Orange once did in this modern castle. The baroque-style elements in the interior are not just an opulent display; their style is reminiscent of the Golden Age, probably the most important epoch in the history of the Netherlands. After a long struggle for independence and freedom of religion, the first Dutch state was founded in 1648, bringing peace and prosperity to the Netherlands. Maritime trade prospered and wealthy citizens discovered their passion for art and culture.
In this respect, the hotel’s architecture offers the chance to travel from the Netherlands of the past to the present day, from the Baroque to the ultra-modern. And it stands there, able to calm the traveller with its undemonstrative exterior defying opposition, its generous interior inviting guests. Whatever happens, Holland is not going to be in any trouble soon.
Project: Hotel Van Der Valk, Zwolle | Netherlands
Architect: P.A.M. Theunissen Architects
Fabricator & Installer: Bijlbouw, Emmen | Netherlands
Façade System: Tray Panels SZ20
Year of Construction: 2013
Product: ALUCOBOND® PLUS special custom colour
Photos: Hennie van Boven