All Systems Go for the Renovation of Hortus Botanicus’ Climate Greenhouses

All Systems Go for the Renovation of Hortus Botanicus' Climate Greenhouses

The environmental permit for the Three Climate Greenhouse at the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam has been granted, bringing the renovation of the iconic greenhouse another step closer.

The architectural studio ZJA was the original designer of the greenhouse in 1993, and three decades later, it will once more create the look of the greenhouse’s, which will be modern and importantly in these times, sustainable. Working with them is BOOM Landscape and Designwolf, who will be responsible for the design and layout of the interior, and ABT will once more be responsible for the construction.

Originally founded in 1638 to serve as an herb garden for the city’s doctors and pharmacists, Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus is nowadays better known as being one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. It offers visitors a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of the city and contains more than 6,000 types of indigenous and non-native trees and plants.

A rendering showing people walking on a bridge next to one of the greenhouses

Kay Oosterman (architect and partner at ZJA) said, “The new design by ZJA visibly promotes sustainable innovation, while the silhouette of the greenhouse remains recognisable. The characteristic main load-bearing structure, so iconic for the Hortus, is retained.

The distinctive rhythm and refinement of the existing frontage with its white lines recur in our new design, while its single glass is replaced by insulating double glazing, and the roof is provided with lightweight insulating air cushions. Finally, the plants will benefit optimally from the renovation and the new climate-control systems.”

A Modernised and Sustainable Icon
Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus was designed by ZJA in the early 1990s as a contemporary structure in steel and glass. Three decades later, the Three Climate Greenhouse requires a complete renovation, and the Hortus is seizing upon that urgent requirement as an opportunity to make the greenhouse even more sustainable.

It will become the first public greenhouse in the country not to be heated by gas. Furthermore, it will be the only place that explains the importance of plant biodiversity and its relationship to the climate.

A rendering showing people entering one of the newly modernised and sustainable greenhouses

With all its adjustments to ensure sustainability, the retention of distinctive elements, as well as an optimal environment for the plant collection, the renovated Climate Greenhouse at the Hortus will be well-set for the future.

With biodiversity under so much pressure, conveying the story of biodiversity is becoming increasingly crucial for the Hortus.

“If we want visitors to act differently according to our mission, namely with care for nature, then we must, of course, also show that this is possible,” says Hortus director Carlien Blok.

Once the renovation has been completed, the greenhouse have insulated roofs, double glazing, storage for reuse of (rain)water and innovative, energy-efficient climate systems.

In addition to a renewed tropical and subtropical section and the renovated desert segment, there will also be additional exhibition space to explain the story of biodiversity and the relationship with climate on a global scale.

With the granting of the environmental permit, the Hortus can now enter the final phase, the actual renovation. The current greenhouse will close at the end of February 2024 and reopen in 2025, the year in which Amsterdam celebrates its 750th anniversary.

Read more about the project on the ZJA website.

A top down view of the iconic greenhouses in AmsterdamAll Systems Go for the Renovation of Hortus Botanicus' Climate Greenhouses 2

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