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Monday, July 14, 2014

The Royal Picture Gallery, Mauritshuis

By Anurag Pandey
Photography: Luuk Kramer; courtesy the architect

Hans Van Heeswijk Architects renovate, expand and chisel  ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague
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Just like “Rome was not built in a day,” it took two long years for Hans Van Heeswijk Architects to renovate, expand and chisel one of the most beautiful art museums of Europe known as ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague...

The Royal Picture Gallery, Mauritshuis, which has an assemblage of the world-famous collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, is among the most remarkable surviving examples of 17th-century architecture in the Netherlands.

Hans Van Heeswijk Architects renovate, expand and chisel  ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague
.

Hans Van Heeswijk Architects renovate, expand and chisel  ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague
.

The new design inspired from the likes of I.M. Pei’s famous renovation of the Louvre in Paris, and Apple’s New York flagship store, is the perfect spatial solution to the logistical problems of the museum’s existing footprint as the design carves out underground space for new entrance, museum shop, restaurant and cloakroom.

Hans Van Heeswijk Architects renovate, expand and chisel  ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague
.

Hans Van Heeswijk Architects renovate, expand and chisel  ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague
.

The new museum is a consolidation of two buildings, which connects the 17th-century building with its new wing through an underground entrance foyer measuring 15m by 50m and further extends in a former clubhouse building across the street. Prior to this, the surface area of the museum was approx. 3,500 sq. m., whereas the new design has almost doubled the surface area bringing it close to 6,800 sq. m. surprisingly without any indication of this fact above ground. The two historic buildings are completely different in age, structure and prestige but smart creation of similarities in finish and detailing present them holistically.

Hans Van Heeswijk Architects renovate, expand and chisel  ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague
.

Hans Van Heeswijk Architects renovate, expand and chisel  ‘Mauritshuis’ at The Hague
.

The daylight flooding the square is the central theme of the interiors, which are designed by Stephanie Gieles. The biggest surprise is the generous amount of natural light penetrating the underground space from all sides. To achieve maximum transparency, Hans van Heeswijk devised a lift that, uniquely, is entirely made of structural glass, both shaft and cabin, without the support of a steel structure. Interestingly, apart from the period art, this superlative piece of design is arresting as a highlight of the new spatial configuration of the museum.

1 comment :

  1. There should be a place like this for artist all over the world who won a major showing in their communities, at lease a large area for up coming painters and sculptures that are here now. This gallery is perfect for that, to win top showing and be seen next to the masters would be the best thing that could happen to an artist and definitely to me. David aka penticular@wordpress.com

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