About Felix Meritis
Building and restoration
The building of the former society ‘Felix Meritis' (Happy through Merit), which was set up with the aim of promoting the arts and sciences, is a typical monument of the Enlightment. The classical temple façade with its colossal Corinthian pilasters and pediment is characteristic of the neoclassical style. The society's departments - visual arts and architecture, literature, trade, natural sciences and music - are symbolized in five embossed sculptures. The interior includes original 18th-century features such as the central staircase, the oval concert hall, renowned for its acoustics, and the domed roof - underneath which there used to be an observatory.
From left to right: facade (photo: Mathieu van Ek), the central staircase and the domed roof viewed from the Westertoren.
On 1 February 2006 the way was cleared for the third stage of the restoration to commence through the provision of a local authority guarantee. However, it proved to be no longer technically possible to implement the original plan and to carry out the whole restoration in one operation. It was therefore once again decided to opt for an approach in stages. Priority was given this year to the renovation of the central staircase because that would increase the possible ways in which the premises can be used. The meticulous preparation by ToornendPartners prevented any unwelcome surprises, and the great dedication of Koninklijke Woudenberg and SDR yielded a splendid result.
From left to right: restoration of the roof above the central staircase, restoration Shaffyzaal (photo: Ellis Doeven) and the facade in scaffolding.