Naturalis, Leiden, Neutelings Riedijk architecten
Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. Image © Scagliola Brakkee/courtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architects

Haute Couture Meets Building Facades With Iris Van Herpen and Neutelings Riedijk Architects’ Naturalis Collaboration

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Renowned fashion designer Iris van Herpen collaborates with Netherlands-based architecture firm Neutelings Riedijk Architects to transform the national research institute for biodiversity, Naturalis. The national research institute for biodiversity under-went a design overhaul that complimented the existing structure while adding on new sections to the site. The institute’s original red stone was complemented by the white concrete friezes that wrapped around the building.

The iconic Dutch fashion designer was inspired by the museum’s collections, erosion patterns from the volcanic island of Lanzarote. Besides its physically stunning presence what makes the site even more alluring is its construction process. The fossil-like patterns wrapped inside and around the building were molded from a combination of hand-sanded concrete and grain-sized white marble aggregate. The 3,300 feet tapestry-like form consists of 263 modeled panels that complement the center’s uniquely designed atrium.

During a New York Times interview with Dana Thomas back in October 2019, van Herpen explained that fashion and architecture are interconnected and both disciplines “really talk to each other.”

Recognized for her larger than life 3-D printed designs, organically inspired forms, and kinetics silhouettes, this isn’t van Herpen’s first time collaborating with architects. As iconic as her runway looks, van Herpen has also worked with American-Israeli architect Neri Oxman and Austrian-architectural designer Julia Koerner.

Image © Scagliola Brakkee/courtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Naturalis Biodiversity Center interiors. Image © Scagliola Brakkee/courtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Red stone exterior with wrap around white concrete frieze design. Image © Scagliola Brakkee/courtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architects
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Image © Scagliola Brakkee/courtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Image © Scagliola Brakkee/courtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architects
Katherine Guimapang

Katherine Guimapang

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