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Since the end of 2006, Sound & Vision has been located in a spectacular building at the Media Park in Hilversum. The building itself, with its unique glass facade, impressive canyon and striking atrium is already worth a visit. The architecture reflects the mission and the organization of Sound & Vision.

Decorative: reflection on stained glass wall

Sound & Vision arose in 1997 from a merger of three audiovisual archives and a museum, with the task of ‘managing and preserving the Dutch audiovisual heritage and making it accessible to a wide audience’. In order to fulfill this mission, it was necessary to move from nine locations in six municipalities to one central location.


Multiple functions, one building

A building was needed for different functions:

  1. an accommodation for a large, safe and professional archive

  2. an accommodation for a public-oriented information center

  3. a service institution for professionals and an attractive museum for a large audience

Neutelings Riedijk designed a building in which those separate tasks remain visible. There is one common entrance for all users of the building. The atrium, our central hall, connects the various components being the depots, the museum and the offices. From 16 meters underground to 26 meters into the sky: all parts are connected by this space of air and light.

Part of Sound & Vision's facade. Photo: ScagliolaBrakkee

The Facade

Graphic designer Jaap Drupsteen, together with glass company Saint Gobain and TNO, realized the covering of the four glass facades. On the outside of the square building you can see what’s inside of it. Drupsteen selected 768 images from the Sound & Vision collection and then abstracted them to prevent the outer walls from becoming too anecdotal. Each of the 2244 glass panels has a unique relief and color pattern. These glass panels form a kind of ‘second skin’ around the building. To enable cleaning of the panels, they can be rotated. On the office side there are completely transparent glass panels between the colored panels. In this way, the employees have enough daylight in their offices.

Sound & Vision's canyon. Foto: Diego Rosero

The Canyon

Sound & Vision's depots form, both figuratively and literally, the fundament of the organization. The archive has a robust and monumental appearance. Visitors can look five levels deep into the canyon. Behind the orange walkways and open windows on the levels -2 to -5 you find the depots where the entire collection is stored.

Four different climate zones ensure a proper conservation of the stored material. The temperature in these depots is on average 12, 16, 18 or 19 degrees Celsius, with a specific air humidity. Most of the material is stored on so-called roller racks that can be moved apart from and towards each other. The depots also contain our data robot, which stores and delivers all digital and digitized heritage.


Working behind the Wall of Fame

On the entire west facade, a slightly wedge-shaped 7-stored office building is located. The office corridor is 2 meters wide on one side and finally extends to a width of 6 meters. Here we work behind the Wall of Fame, a glass partition that forms a monument for Dutch media makers. Every year, media personalities that have received a prize for their oeuvre are added to the wall. The glass portraits are designed by Studio Drupsteen.

The museum

The museum, the Sound & Vision experience, cascades up and seems to float at the top of the atrium. In the second upper step a huge, 80-ton heavy metal frame has been placed. This construction supports this part of the building.

The atrium side is fully covered with square aluminum plates of 55 x 55 centimeters. Here you see, depending on the light, the reflection of the colorful parts of the glass facades, the glow of the depots and the lighting in the atrium.

From the hall of the second floor a wide staircase leads to the large exhibition space. Together with the intermediate floors, this hall offers no less than 3300 square meters of exhibition space.


The Grand Café and the terrace

A sloping, stair-shaped part of the central hall is designed as a terrace and serves as a quietly located Grand Café for all visitors of Sound & Vision. There is also an outdoor terrace surrounded by water. The terrace can also be used as an event location. For example, it was used for Giro 555 actions and the broadcasting of the day of the Dutch youth journal.

The Grand Café has a place for 200 people. The ‘school café’, equipped with fixed benches and tables, offers space for groups of up to 36 people.

More about the restaurant


On the first and second floor, you will find the two theaters and the ‘blue room’, which is used for our temporary exhibitions. Various activities are organized in both theaters, from film screenings to symposiums and book presentations. Both rooms have large projection screens. Red, green and blue LEDs have been incorporated in the walls and ceilings and together they can display any color. The canyon offers two smaller rooms for meetings of smaller groups on floor -1. We call these rooms BenG Labs.

Your event in our building

Sound & Vision is a wonderful event location with unprecedented facilities. Seminars, conferences and company presentations, but also a sitting dinner, reception or party; there is a suitable space for every purpose. Check out the possibilities