Client: Naturalis - Biodiversity Center
Designer: Onne Brouwer, Pieter Aartsen, Studio Daniel Ament
Location: Leiden, The Netherlands
Surface m2: 2044
Realization: 01-08-2019
Disciplines: Interior, Showcases, Audio-visual and multimedia, Graphics, Museum lighting
Work fields: Museum
Themes: Icon Nature

Naturalis, the national research institute in the field of biodiversity, has reopened with a brand new family museum. Young and old being submerged in the wonderful world of the nature. The museum is all about seeing, doing and experiencing. In different museum halls, the visitor discovered the early live on earth, the Netherlands in the Ice age and the primal forces of our earth. Also the visitor is introduced to the surprising lines of plants and animals, they face an African elephant and they meet the T. rex Trix. In the LiveScience hall they experience the work of an researcher and collection manager. Not because of an exhibition, but by really watching the scientist in everything they do. Anyone with a nature question is welcome at Naturalis and receives an answer from an expert.

Bruns was responsible for the development, engineering and realisation of four halls: The Earth, The Temptation, The Ice age and LiveScience. The hall The Earth is about het natural phenomenon earthquakes. The traditional Japanese theatre, part of this hall, concern an ancient Japanese myth that tells the cause of earthquakes. According to the myth is the gigantic fish Namazu the founder. Only god Kashima can immobilize the fish. Bruns made an earthquake- experience, consist of real moving dolls and a moving platform to make the story play. Besides the Japanese theatre there is also a big treasury in the hall The Earth. Here you can admire the most beautiful collection of stones in showcases of non-reflecting glass specially developed by Bruns.

The temptation is a world in the art-deco style with a lot of interactivity for young audience. This hall of more than 480m2 is divided in two worlds, namelijk The Birth and The Deed. A big birth cake in the colours pink and blue is used as symbol for new live. The hole collection beautiful young stuffed animals are being presented on this birth cake. The second part The Deed is about sex in the animal Kingdom. A subject that is presented in a colourful an humorous way.

The hall the Ice Age takes the visitor to a wild nature in an inhospitable primeval landscape. With a giant scale model, designed by Daniel Ament and realized by Bruns, a completely unrecognizable landscape is visible of the Netherlands. The visitor is brought back to the Ice Age via places viewers around the model. LiveScience is against a different type of room. Here is it not going about a story, but about exhibiting the wealth of collection items and the reality of the work as a scientist or collection manager.

In short, Naturalis is a museum consisting of very rich range of multidisciplinary exhibitions for which Bruns was fully responsible for four halls. A museum with a great success for the audience. This is evident from reaching the 100,000th visitor in six weeks.

Photography: Koen Mol and Mike Bink

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