The House of the Five Senses

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The House of the Five Senses
Efteling Entrance.jpg
Opened1996 (1996)

The House of the Five Senses is the main entrance of amusement park Efteling in the Netherlands. It was designed by Ton van de Ven and went operational in 1996, a year later than planned due to a general strike in the construction sector.

Amusement park park with rides and attractions

An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its structures and attractions around a central theme, often featuring multiple areas with different themes. Unlike temporary and mobile funfairs and carnivals, amusement parks are stationary and built for long-lasting operation. They are more elaborate than city parks and playgrounds, usually providing attractions that cater to a variety of age groups. While amusement parks often contain themed areas, theme parks place a heavier focus with more intricately-designed themes that revolve around a particular subject or group of subjects.

Efteling amusement park

Efteling is a fantasy-themed amusement park in Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands. The attractions reflect elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables, and folklore.

Ton van de Ven Dutch industrial designer

Ton van de Ven was a Dutch industrial designer. He is best known as the creative director at the Efteling theme park.



The architecture is based on the Indonesian Rumah Gadang style of the Minangkabau ethnic group.
The 52-metre-high (171 ft) wooden construction has the largest reed roof (48437 square feet/ 4500 square metres) in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Rumah Gadang

Rumah gadang or rumah bagonjong are the traditional homes of the Minangkabau. The architecture, construction, internal and external decoration, and the functions of the house reflect the culture and values of the Minangkabau. A rumah gadang serves as a residence, a hall for family meetings, and for ceremonial activities. In the matrilineal Minangkabau society, the rumah gadang is owned by the women of the family who live there; ownership is passed from mother to daughter.

Minangkabau people ethnic group

Minangkabau people, also known as Minang, are an ethnic group indigenous to the Minangkabau Highlands of West Sumatra, Indonesia. The Minangkabau's West Sumatran homelands was the seat of the Pagaruyung Kingdom, believed by early orientalists to have been the cradle of the Malay race, and the location of the Padri War.

Thatching type of roof

Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge, rushes, heather, or palm branches, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. Since the bulk of the vegetation stays dry and is densely packed—trapping air—thatching also functions as insulation. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. Thatch is still employed by builders in developing countries, usually with low-cost local vegetation. By contrast, in some developed countries it is the choice of some affluent people who desire a rustic look for their home, would like a more ecologically friendly roof, or who have purchased an originally thatched abode.

The five peaks of the roof symbolize the five senses, which stand for experiencing the Efteling. Besides the entrance, customer service, a souvenir shop and a toilet group are located in the building.

Sense physiological capacity of organisms that provides data for perception

A sense is a physiological capacity of organisms that provides data for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and philosophy of perception. The nervous system has a specific sensory nervous system, and a sense organ, or sensor, dedicated to each sense.

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest". Customer service concerns the priority an organization assigns to customer service relative to components such as product innovation and pricing. In this sense, an organization that values good customer service may spend more money in training employees than the average organization or may proactively interview customers for feedback.

The story

“A long time ago, there ruled a king, but who got too old and sick to stay in power. He had five sons, who were meant to rule the country, each contributing with their special ability (one of the five senses). But they grew apart and the kingdom started falling apart. The old king’s court jester “Pardoes” (today’s park mascot) tried to get them together, and doing so requested an audience with each of the five sons.
To the first one he asked: “Can you hear what I’m thinking?”... –“No, only my brother can do that!... I see what you mean!!!”
To the second one he asked: “Can you see if people are honest?”…-“No, only my brother can do that!…I hear what you’re saying!!!”
Asking such questions to all the sons, he made them realise their interdependent relationship and brought them together, and the people built the House of the Five Senses, with the five peaks referring to the sons’ abilities, for them to rule together. It so happens that the park’s entrance passes through this building nowadays.”

Mascot person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or for fictional, representative spokespeople for consumer products

A mascot is any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name. Mascots are also used as fictional, representative spokespeople for consumer products, such as the rabbit used in advertising and marketing for the General Mills brand of breakfast cereal, Trix.

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