The Netherlands Carillon was a gift from the Dutch government to the people of the United States in gratitude for their allied service during World War II. Sited adjacent to the US Marine Corps War Memorial and the northern end of Arlington National Cemetery within Arlington Ridge Park, the Carillon overlooks the Potomac River and Washington, DC, providing expansive views of the National Mall, West Potomac Park, and Arlington National Cemetery.
Constructed in 1960 by Dutch architect Joost W.C. Boks, the 127‐foot-tall open steel structure consists of a galvanized steel frame with steel cladding. The modular structure was fabricated in the Netherlands and assembled in the US, while the bells were cast by foundries throughout the Netherlands. There are two exterior observation decks and two open areas that house the structure’s 50-bell carillon. The lower bells are screened with metal louvers and mesh, and the upper bells hang exposed above a control room at the upper observation level. The Carillon rises from a plaza constructed of slate pavers with low stone perimeter walls. Two bronze lions designed by Boks and carved by sculptor Paul Koning guard the entrance to the plaza and a landscaped “Tulip Library” (garden) sits in front of the Carillon.
Engaged by the National Park Service, the Mills + Schnoering Architects team led the restoration of the Modern-era structure and upgrades to its accessibility. The steel structure and panels had suffered from years of weathering and corrosion and were in need of disassembly, repair, corrosion removal, surface preparation, and recoating. M+Sa prepared bridging documents for design-build construction and secured all approvals from the US Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the Virginia SHPO.