A regal affair

04 Nov 2011

Royal re-inauguration on the horizon for Erick van Egeraat's Drents Museum

The city of Assen is busily preparing for the arrival of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who is due to visit on the 16th November to officially open architect Erick van Egeraat’s extension to the Drents Museum. Founded by the King’s Commissioner of Drenthe in 1854 as a museum of antiquities the civic building was in dire need of a sensitive expansion project and van Egeraat’s creative vision with an underlying organisational concept was unanimously voted the winner by a jury and the client (the province of Drenthe).

An organic green roof extends over the extension complex and seamlessly merges the building with existing parks and gardens, not only expanding the exhibition space within the Museum but furthering the open areas available to the local community. Both internally and externally the new volume simplifies wayfinding throughout the Museum and links a new entranceway with the original space. The existing coach-house will serve as the Museum’s new main entrance.

This coach-house has been raised a metre off the ground and supported by a glass plinth through which light will penetrate. Similarly, slits within the green roof enable natural sunlight to flood the stark white exhibition areas within, illuminating the displays and reducing the energy demands of the institution. At night, artificial light eminates from the volume, bathing the surrounding parklands in a soft glow and ‘transforming the coach-house into a beacon for the city and its inhabitants’.

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