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De Volharding – ARTIS Amsterdam

Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Arjen Veldt, Elena ten Brink


PV surface area: 160 m2
Solar panels: 156 pieces
Total output: ~ 20 kWp
Color technology: ColorBlast®
Delivery date: November 2022
Completion date: December 2022
Phase: Completed
Owner: ARTIS
PV manufacturer: Kameleon Solar
Architect: VB erfgoed & architectuur
Roofing: Jobse B.V.
PV installer: Solar Art
Rheinzink supplier and mounting system: Wentzel B.V.
E-installer: Verweij Elektrotechniek
Contractor: Nico de Bont | TBI

In a nutshell

De Volharding is one of the 26 national monuments on the ARTIS site. This past year, the building has been renovated to a high standard and made more sustainable. This sustainability is in line with ARTIS’s ambition to remove the park’s ecological footprint by 2030. Kameleon Solar designed and manufactured 156 colored PV panels for de Volharding in the zinc color of the roof and in a custom size that matches the zinc elements. This is the first time that colored solar panels have been applied in open view on a national monument and that have been approved by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This important project opens the doors for all zinc roofs with a protected appearance in the Netherlands that had no solution for generating sustainable electricity, until now.

Sustainable restoration

The restoration of the national monument De Volharding in the ARTIS zoo in Amsterdam has been successfully completed. The former rice warehouse, dating from 1866, has been made sustainable and future-proof. In order to restore the appearance of the building to the 1922 design by architect Ouëndag, color and building history research has been carried out. In addition, solar panels in the zinc color of the roof have been installed on the historic building.

This makes de Volharding the first national monument with solar panels in the same color scheme as the zinc roof. The restoration was realized in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam (Monuments and Archaeology) and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. Its implementation has been made possible by government grants and private contributions.

Armillarium and natural slates 

The historic building is ‘topped’ with an armillary: a celestial sphere with metal rings representing the main circles of the sky. The object, a symbol of knowledge and science, is a reconstruction of the sphere that adorned the building from 1886.

In the ring of het Armillarium is a quote from Eli Heimans, an important nature educator from the nineteenth century: “Those who work with love live. Whoever gave of his gift has given forever”. The bitumen roof covering of the domes has been replaced by natural slate. Its use is of high quality and, according to the initiators, fits better with the appearance of the monument.


De Volharding has been made future-proof by installing insulation, insulated monumental glass and solar panels, among other techniques. This application of sustainability is in line with ARTIS’ ambition to remove the park’s ecological footprint by 2030.

The oldest zoo in the Netherlands is working on sustainability goals in all buildings and accommodation that are being renovated. The restored and renovated ARTIS-Groote Museum (from 1855) opened earlier this year.

The Aquarium (from 1882) is the next national monument that needs large-scale restoration to preserve it for the future. To this end, a fundraising campaign has been launched. In September, ARTIS received the Compliment Restoration Fund for the restoration and thus preservation of the many monuments on site.

ARTIS offices

De Volharding is one of the 26 national monuments in ARTIS. In 1888 the building was converted into an Ethnographic Museum, later renamed Zoological Laboratory for the University of Amsterdam (1922). Since 1986, ARTIS offices have been housed in the building. The high vulture aviary on the west side was opened in 2003.

PV Details

Type 1

Size: 740 x 1380 mm
Weight: 24 kg
Cells: 32 (4 x 8) monocrystalline 6'' cells
Power: 128 Wp
Technology: ColorBlast®
Color: KSB E1025


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