Red oak celebrates conference venue restaurant's beautiful woodland setting
Conference hotel Kontakt der Kontinenten consists of a complex of former monastery buildings in the middle of the forest in Soesterberg. The original design and look of the restaurant were quite dated and worn out. It no longer matched the desired overall experience of the conference hotel and the quality expectations of guests today and tomorrow. There was also a need to improve the layout of the building: the many different levels and corresponding emergency facilities interfered in the delivery of efficient guest services.
The restaurant is housed in a one-storey building in the back of the hotel, adjacent to the old mission house and chapel. It looks out over the garden and is surrounded by a beautiful old woodland area. In fact, the buildings border a national park which is the second largest forest area in the Netherlands. The new restaurant has been added to the historic structure, while respecting the original size and scale. ‘Light & air’ were an important starting point for this transformative project. A glass pavilion in the garden as a leitmotif seemed to be an obvious choice. The largely glazed new pavilion opens up onto the surrounding woodlands, so that the viewer is plunged into this forest environment.
An open ceiling of American red oak wooden slats enhances the room's acoustics and celebrates its forest surroundings. "As for my choice of wood for the ceiling inside the restaurant, I felt that the warmth of the wood would complement its setting which is in an exceptional natural environment with beautiful trees and forests. The fact that this restaurant is practically surrounded by woods made the choice for a ceiling made of wooden slats an obvious one. This way we could connect the natural atmosphere of the forest with the interior of the building. The glass façade shows the forest outside and the warmth of the red oak ceiling brings the forest inside." - Neelu Boparai, owner of Boparai Associates Architects who have built a strong reputation in the hospitality sector.
Architect: Boparai Associates Architects
Interior architect: TenBrasWestinga Architectuur/Stedenbouw en Interieur
Building contractor: VIOS bouw
W-installation: Van Galen
E-installation: Klaver Giant
Elevator installation: Lakeman
Steel: Vic Obdam
Cast floor: DRT
Custom furniture: Heri Interieur Projecten
Individual furniture items: Lensen
Groen: Van Ginkelgroep
Photography: Marcel van de Burg courtesy of Derako