The Renewed Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects

Museum Arnhem

Benthem Crouwel Architects transformed the building into a visible, well-organized and accessible new museum that connects the city with nature and with art. Architect and partner Saartje van der Made: ‘We were immediately captivated by the location. The view is a
huge plus, so we decided to go higher up with the new building to highlight this feature even more.’

In addition to the special floating wing that is balancing far above the moraine and a wide public staircase that connects it with the renewed sculpture garden, another eyecatcher is the façade. The new wing is tiled with 82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles. The special colour gradient of the tiles on the façade – from earthy tones on the streetside to icy blue on the side facing the river – symbolises the museum’s location on the moraine created by a glacier.

Through the combination of the natural colours and shape the building blends in with the surroundings. Architect and partner Joost Vos: “The exterior had to be subtle ánd surprising, so the building fits in with the environment and draws your attention. It actually becomes more and more interesting when you get closer. All tiles are unique, as if they were all small works of art, very appropriate for this special place and its function as a museum.

The transformation of the museum started in 2017. With the renovation, the building has been expanded by over 1.100 m2 in exhibition and public space, on top of the 1,350 m2 in the original monument. The museum now has 1,935 m2 of state-of-the-art exhibition space.

The spacious new building has five new exhibition halls and two public spaces, which are interconnected, with a natural routing. The monumental dome from 1873 by architect Cornelis Outshoorn, originally a gentlemen’s society, regained its original, spatial character and is the heart of the museum.

This central meeting place houses the entrance, the shop and the café. On the upper floor of the dome, an accessible activity hall has been created, where a continuous public program is offered by
the museum. The dome also give access to the completely renewed sculpture garden. This ‘green outdoor gallery’ is open to all public.

Public Tribune
A wide staircase piercing the building from east to west connects the new wing with the sculpture garden. The steps offer the visitors a teaser of the activities and exhibitions inside, plus a beautiful ‘window’ on the river. These stairways also serve as a tribune for an audience to watch performances in the sculpture garden.

Engaging with the Landscape
The old and the new are connected in a surprising way in the renewed building and the landscape plays a major role in the experience of the museum. The building and the location, centrally located in the city but still surrounded by greenery, provide beautiful panoramic views over river Rhine.

The new exhibition spaces support the collection and the changing exhibitions. These quiet rooms with uninterrupted walls are interspersed with spaces that are open and offer a free view of the landscape and the city through large, continuous windows, making optimal use of and emphasize the unique location of the museum.

This rhythm of introvert and extrovert, the experience of man-made art and the different landscape types makes a visit to the new Museum Arnhem a stimulating and varied experience. Source by Benthem Crouwel Architects.

  • Location: Utrechtseweg 87, Arnhem, Netherlands
  • Architect: Benthem Crouwel Architects
  • Project Team: Joost Vos, Saartje van der Made, Mels Crouwel, Maurice Korenblik, Willem Jan van der Gugten, Nihal Kol, Volker Krenz, Jerome Latteux, Femke Tophoven, Nico de Waard,Marcel Wassenaar
  • Landscape Architect: Karres + Brands
  • Interior Architect Horeca and Museum Shop: Studio Modijefsky
  • Structural Engeneering: Pieters Bouwtechniek Delft
  • Mechanical Services: Nelissen Ingenieursbureau
  • Building Physics: DGMR
  • Advisor Museum Arnhem: Dev_ real estate
  • Contractor: Rots Bouw, Aalten
  • Installation: Alferink Installatietechniek
  • Supplier Tiles: Koninklijke Tichelaar
  • Client / Project management: Municipality of Arnhem
  • Gross Floor Area: 5.870 m2
  • Opening: 13 May 2022
  • Photographs: Jannes Linders, Courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects