• Client: Holland Casino
  • Location: Venlo
  • Year: 2017

Holland Casino, Venlo

Venlo - Our new landmark for Venlo unites imaginative architecture, state-of-the-art sustainability and optimal user experience in one seamless concept. The spectacular flower-shaped design won MVSA and Arcadis the tender for Holland Casino Venlo. Its show-stopping good looks are, from a distance, highly visible, appearing as a welcoming gateway to the Netherlands. The colour-changing interactive façade provides a breath taking light show, emphasizing the sculptural structure. The casino is a natural cohesion between landscape, architecture and interior. A bio based concept, integral collaboration and elaborate circular ambitions, resulted in the highest sustainability score ever for this type of building.

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Holland Casino, Venlo

Located on a major road near the German border, the new Holland Casino acts as a gateway to the country for its many German and Belgian guests. Easily accessible and iconic, the building’s flower-inspired form – symbolic of the Netherlands – attracts attention from afar, thanks its expressive sculptural design and spectacular interactive façade. Rising from the heart of the building, the architectural bloom is wonderfully visible from the highway. The flowing floral forms extend out naturally into the landscape, referring to the famous Dutch flower-growing tradition. The plan includes two large ‘tulip fields’ that give visitors sense of place. On bio-based asphalt the parking is situated, where striking flower structures emerge to provide energy and fresh air for the casino. In this way, the building is organically connected with the surrounding landscape and the elements. The outdoor space becomes the ‘soil’ in which the building grows. Site and building form one organism, absorbing air, water and energy. The complex forms a transition between the business park and the important Natura2000 nature reserve on the River Maas. It also lies on the flight path of a bat colony, so various bat corridors have been placed on and around the building.

There are two starting points for this design: maximum sustainability and an optimal user experience. Both themes begin outside the building. The landmark structure is clearly visible from a distance, with its interactive façade offering a lively, colour-changing lightshow for visitors and passers-by. Outside the building too, the flower structures harvest solar energy and fresh air. A multidisciplinary team developed the concept, resulting in a holistic approach to architecture and sustainability.
A natural coherence between landscape, architecture and interior is felt everywhere in the self-sufficient building. Materials are biodegradable, natural, or reused.
The casino appears as a huge flower rising from the landscape. The entrance, via a generous stairway alongside a pond with water lilies, leads visitors through the casino in an intuitive way, to the heart of the flower, which is centrally located in the atrium. Here the roof rises from the central stem, creating the emblematic corolla that forms an impressive starry sky. The central bar winds around the flower stem and forms the highlight of the interior as it extends over the different levels and morphs into the stairway. Lighting enhances the flowing, organic forms throughout the design.

Nature was our teacher: the total concept is based on biomimicry. The building is a self-regulating organism with a skin, skeleton, metabolism and brain. The Trias Energetica method determines its energy management, resulting in an almost energy-neutral building (EPC 0.34, equivalent to Breeam Outstanding). This is the best-ever energy performance for this type of building. In line with circular design, the old casino has been reused, along with new bio-based material including the wooden construction. The smart concept gives space to the natural ecology of the neighbouring River Maas, including the foraging area for bats and the sustainable integration of parking areas into the landscape. The surrounding green plant walls are a habitat for insects and other organisms. The building uses natural energy sources. Its curved form collects rainwater for the grey-water circuit, which is then purified by the helophyte filter in the entrance staircase. PV film on the roof and in the flower-shaped sculptures captures solar energy. Light tubes use daylight to create a starry sky indoors, while visitors generate energy through the interactive entrance floor. The adaptive building signals visitor numbers and adjusts its use of energy, water and air accordingly.

More than a collection of sustainability solutions, the design is a total concept: an iconic and future-proof building. Sustainability ambitions and Holland Casino’s identity are approached in an integrated way and unified as a result, creating new opportunities for partnership and cooperation and new business cases. Self-sufficient in energy terms, the casino fits seamlessly with circular-economy thinking. A materials passport in BIM facilitates maintenance and repairs. Respect for the total cost of ownership forms the basis of the holistic design. Outdoor space and building form one entity and absorb air, water and energy like an organism. The building has a skin, skeleton, brain and an excellent metabolism. Meanwhile, the visitor experiences magic everywhere, from the façade to deep in building’s heart. The highest level of sustainability has in no way diminished the glamour and allure of the building. On the contrary, it proves that we can create a world that is in harmony with nature, that sustainability is applicable everywhere and that smart buildings are no longer a dream.


Project data

Size6 ha
ClientHolland Casino
TeamJohn Boon, Timo Cents, Hans Smolenaers, Sjaak Punt, Leonieke Heldens
In collaboration withMVSA Architects
Holland Casino, Venlo
Holland Casino, Venlo
Holland Casino, Venlo
Holland Casino, Venlo
Holland Casino, Venlo