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A moment of clarity

Sian
Tuesday 29 Jun 2010

Plans for light-focused expansion to the Mauritshuis presented by Hans van Heeswijk

Hans van Heeswijk’s preliminary design concept for the €22m project, ‘Mauritshuis building for the future’ has been released. The plans show the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague linked to the art deco Plein 26 building opposite via an underground foyer, doubling the existing buildings square footage to 6,400 sq m. The expansion includes the construction of a new exhibition hall, an auditorium for lectures and conferences and an education space.

Originally built in the seventeenth century, the Mauritshuis was designed by Golden Age architect Jacob van Campen as a city palace. Nowadays it is a fully functional public museum displaying a collection of seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish masters to over 200,000 visitors every year.

van Heeswijk’s final design will be presented this December and whilst the specific details are yet to be decided, elements of ‘light and clarity’ are said to be prominent features throughout the project. The use of glass is a key constituent in this approach, and the material has been utilised in multiple forms. Both the lift and open staircase are to be constructed using glass, as are parts of the square’s pavement in front of the Mauritshuis, where opaque glass will be installed in order to bring light into the underground foyer that lies approximately 6m under street level. Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis, said: “The extension will prepare the museum for the requirements and demands of the twenty-first century, while retaining its characteristically intimate ambience.”

Sian Disson
Editorial Assistant

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Architecture
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