- an intervention in clear contrast to a monument -
DORDRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS
The Dordrechts Museum accommodates one of the most important collections of Dutch Masters in The Netherlands. The existing building, an asylum, converted to a museum in 1904, had become too small to show the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions at the same time. Also climate control was primitive, preventing the exchange of work with foreign institutions, which is essential for blockbuster-exhibitions.
The building has been restored and extended, creating a route in which the visitor can roam around. This was one of the main ambitions; the former layout counted many dead ends. In the extension this circuit opens up into a ‘clear labyrinth’ allowing visitors to make their own journey through the exhibitions.
Interventions are in clear contrast with the existing monument: The floating box of the extension has a strange, silent expression, while hiding the new climate machinery. The new entrance space is completely transparent, as is the ‘greenhouse’ that was added as a terrace to the restaurant. In this innovative element, no material other then glass is used. Thus, the paradox of the building becomes clear: being modest in relation to the listed, monumental building and assertive in the interventions needed for a modern cultural hotspot.