On view

Playing Safe

National Military Museum

Soesterberg (NL)

The collections of the Military Aviation Museum in Soesterberg and the Army Museum in Delft were to merge into a new museum located in the former Soesterberg airbase. The Dutch government launched an exciting competition. Five teams competed, each consisting of an architect, an exhibition designer, a landscape architect, and a project developer. The winner was responsible for the integral design of the building, the interior, the exhibition, and the surrounding landscape, and also for the maintenance and exploitation during the first 25 years. We won the pitch as part of the Heijmans PPP consortium with Felix Claus Dick van Wageningen Architects and H+N+S Landscape Architects.

Soesterberg (NL)
Ministry of Defence
20.000 m2
Concept, Spatial design, Graphic design, Art-direction
Niels de Jong (lead), Mark de Jong, Wendy Snoek, Martijn Sas, Valentina Raffaelli, Serena Bigatti, Michel de Vaan, Martin Saemmer, Simon Christiaanse, Remco Swart, Robin Schijfs, Andreas Tscholl, Maaike van Keimpema, Sietske Sips, Roel Bolhuis
Engineering, production and build
Films, interactives, animations, games
Documentaries, film installations
De Aanpak
Interactives, games Xplore, App
Lighting design, show control, programming, AV hardware
Rapenburg Plaza

“The scale of the project is enormous. It involves a total exhibition area of 20,000 m², a spectacular roof measuring 110 by 250 meters and 13 meter-high glass exterior walls.”

Niels de Jong

Designer at KDJ

Two museums in one

We have developed a museum concept with two types of exhibition environments. A ‘daylight museum’ on the ground floor illustrates a chronological overview of approximately one thousand years of military technology, featuring tanks and aircrafts. The ‘black box’ takes a thematic approach. In the seven theatrical environments that have been created here, stories are central: stories about the importance of water for our defense; stories about the past, present and future of the armed forces; the position of the armed forces in Dutch society; but also many personal stories and dilemmas.

For experts and beginners

In order to attract not only experts but also families and a wider audience, we added a great deal of dynamism and layers to the exhibitions. Each presentation has its own layer of content aimed at a specific target group. For true connoisseurs there is always extra information available. We developed an interactive Xplore environment especially for children where, for example, they can fly in an F16 or make their own gunpowder.


Dutch Museum Award 2016


European Museum of the Year Award 2016

Special Recommendation

DagjeWeg.nl Award 2015


Design Week Awards 2015