Blauwe Vogelhuis II



Design development, ongoing




550 sqm




Scouting Nederland, Scoutcentrum Buitenzorg Baarn 



Paul Geurts, Nina Tsonidi.  In collaboration with TomDavid architecten, David Baars, Tom van Odijk, Panagiotis Seltsiotis

Located in the mature forests characteristic to this central location in the Netherlands, Scout Centre Buitenzorg is situated on what remains of the Buitenzorg estate in Baarn. The former manor is probably a copy of Buitenzorg (today’s Bogor) in Indonesia; until the end of 1949 the residence of the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies and nowadays the residence of the President of Indonesia.

The new lodging building replaces an existing 1970’s building on the Scout Centre. The building site is detached from the monumental buildings located at the entrance of the Scout Centre. In our approach we regarded the new accommodation as part of the monumental landscape. 

The design is highly context driven and we empathically chose to connect and integrate the building within the forest landscape to make as little impact as possible on the existing trees and plants.

This careful integration into the landscape means that the building will manifest itself differently from all directions. The perception of the building unfolds as visitors move around it. 

The floor plan layout consists of two compact accommodation wings and two semi perpendicular-oriented ”living rooms”. Here children can enjoy activities when it’s raining outside; there is room for play and for people to cook, eat and meet. These spaces are orientated outwards to the exterior chambers created by the pockets of the building and the forest. 

We designed the building in prefabricated finished cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements; in this way it can be assembled on site in a short period of time, thereby limiting the impact on the delicate site. The wood is harvested from sustainably managed forests. CO2 is stored in the CLT elements for a longer period of time, which contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

To be smart with energy and to create a sustainable self-sufficient design, we applied thermal compartmentalisation. This means that only the accommodation wings are fully climatised. Both the living rooms and the corridors, that border with the landscape, are more like enclosed outdoor spaces. 

The building will generate enough energy to provide itself with electricity and hot water all year round. Generated energy is stored in buffer tanks and used for showers and heating.

Our goal has been to design a context sensitive building that allows an inspiring stay, connected to the beautiful mature forest landscape, for Scouts and children.