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.”