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Louwman Museum, The Hague, Netherlands

Wednesday 14 Jul 2010

Full speed ahead

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Louwman Museum opens in The Hague, showcasing extensive range of historic cars 

The recently completed Louwman Museum in The Hague is now fully open to the public, playing host to private collector Evert Louwman’s extensive range of over 230 historic cars and the world’s largest collection of automotive art.

Of his design, American architect Michael Graves said: “In designing the Louwman Museum, we drew much of our inspiration from the historical and physical context and strove to give the new museum an identity of its own within its surroundings. The Great Hall, with its huge, arched timber roof, forms an east-west backbone through the building, which distinguishes the lofty exhibition rooms from the smaller, public rooms by the main entrance, such as the museum shop and the access to the theatre. With the steep, peaked roofs that are typical of Dutch architecture, the exterior of this section of the museum is reminiscent of a coach house. This makes the building as a whole appear smaller, so that it blends sympathetically with buildings in the surrounding area.

The design incorporates modern details alongside distinctive Dutch elements. The bricks in the facades have been laid in a special woven pattern, forming a stark contrast to the other, more understated surfaces. It is complemented by quarry stone details and a slate-tiled roof. As well as serving as a special exhibition space, an octagonal pavilion at the rear of the building has been positioned in line with an existing avenue of trees, connecting the building with the landscape.”

Landscape architect Lodewijk Baljon designed the park that surrounds the new Louwman Museum. Housed in a monumental building with its own surrounding parkland, the Louwman Museum has been designed with the look and feel of a grand estate. The structure occupies an enviable location in a line of beautiful estates that fringe the A44, near Wassenaar. Both the architecture and surrounding park had to reflect this stately location. The firm of Lodewijk Baljon, landscape architects from Amsterdam, was commissioned with this task, planting majestic trees and extensive hedges to form a frame for the museum that will mature with the passage of time.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Michael Graves & Associates

More projects by this architect

Rutgers Athletic Center

Island of Sentosa

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Michael Graves named 2012 Driehaus Prize laureate

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