The Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam is a complex amalgam of sections all built at different times. The extension by Robbrecht en Daem makes the museum into a single entity again. Green-tinted glass sheets introduce a rhythm into the façade that looks austere and elegant, but its layering also gives a hint of the complexity of the building. Inside, there is a striking link between Adrianus Van der Steur’s 1935 brick building and the new one: old and new interlock without any brusque movements and turn the museum into a building that is both coherent and flexible.
The commission from then Museum director Chris Dercon for the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam was to clarify a succession of new wings and extensions which had made the institution difficult for its audience to negotiate. This involved clarifying circulation and incorporating both new spaces for collections, alongside the introduction of much needed educational and commercial facilities, which would prepare the museum for the 21st Century. These included a library, bookshop, shop and restaurant which were located within a new street front extension, alongside a new central foyer
The extension to the museum forms a new frontage to the road running through Rotterdam’s Museumpark. Its volume and expression have to mediate between the monumental, classical expression of the existing buildings and the terrace of large villas, which it closes. The stepped profile of the building at this point forms an appropriate corner, engaging with the domestic scale of its immediate neighbours while also introducing the larger scale of the museum complex beyond.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Gemeente Rotterdam
Robbrecht en Daem architecten
interventions in the existing museum building and extensions with a new wing with exhibition halls, a library, offices and a storage space
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Paul Robbrecht, Hilde Daem, Kristoffel Boghaert, Gilberte Claes, Francesca de Fonseca, Sofie Delaere, Brigitte D'hoore, Cathérine Fierens, Shin Hagiwara, Hugo Vanneste
Huisman & Van Muijen