NL Footprint in 751 D-Park

Architecture, Exhibition

NL Scaffold 751

The NL Scaffold was a pavilion erected to accommodate the Dutch architecture exhibition at the Beijing Design Week 2017. The pavilion used temporary construction methods and materials to create a structure and space within which ten projects were showcased.

Early concept sketch

Architecture as Experience

We wanted to create an engaging space that made full use of the huge volume of the existing building. To do this, we created a three dimensional route, with a procession of pockets for the exhibits, and framed views to overlook the rest of the space.

Construction build-up process

Balconies & framing views

Buildings as Collaborations through Clients and Users

We commissioned a series of short documentary movies to be filmed to show this, as well as how the collaboration between the architects and the clients resulted in better, user aimed architecture.

Still from project documentaries

Client/user interviews – Project documentaries

Dutch architecture on display.

Exhibition poster – Dutch Design & Beijing Design Week 2017

Diplomatic Mission

In collaboration with the Dutch Embassy in Beijing, we were given the opportunity to design and curate an exhibition for the design week, exhibiting architecture in China designed by Dutch designers.

Dutch embassy visiting the exhibition

Beijing Design Week

Beijing Design Week (BJDW) is an annual event aimed at showcasing design in all its forms in the capital city. The event was first launched in 2009 and has subsequently become a major event on the Beijing, and international design calendars.

Beijing Design Week branding

Presenting at a Beijing Design Week forum


Beijing city map – 751 location

751 District

The space for the exhibition was in the 751 district in Beijing. Located next door to the famous 798 art district, the 751 district is also aimed at hosting creative industries and events.

751 isometric – Exhibition location

Ten Projects

We were able to curate ten projects built by ten different Dutch architectural practices throughout China. Although the projects ranged from small scale, to extra large, each project had the same size exhibition.

CCTV building – OMA

Tsinghua University School of Architecture Graduate Lab – maison h

On-site supervision with the 3D models during construction.

Sustainable Exhibition Setup

Due to the temporary nature of the exhibition, we chose to use scaffolding, wood, fabric, and lights to create a material palette that not only juxtaposed the finished project on display, but also represented the temporality of the exhibition.

The circulation loop through the pavilion taking shape

Contractor Collaboration

To achieve our goal we worked closely with the contractors to erect the pavilion and dismantle it, recycling all the materials used.

On-site meeting with the contractors and the embassy

Proposed image of the pavilion

Experience Construction

While we were exhibiting finished projects from around China, we wanted to create a space that gave the viewer a sense of the real side of the construction process, juxtaposing the final product with the process of creation.

People filtering through the exhibition

Project models and project images on display

Team: Martijn de Geus, Simon Henstra, Victor Tee, Han Zhang

Client: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Beijing

Project Year: 2017

Location: Beijing