Studio MVRDV has transformed an 18th Century chapel into a welcoming entrance for the adjacent Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands. The museum, which occupies a guesthouse for the elderly built in 1272, was difficult to access since its entrance was located on the basement level. MVRDV renovated the chapel, which the museum extends around, to create an open entrance that incorporates some of the original historic detail into the modern design.
The chapel, which was built by Jan Giudici in 1787, had long been neglected and without purpose. The beautiful architecture was revived by MVRDV, and the museum now spills out of into either side of the chapel’s façade, and the new entrance at street level makes it easy for visitors to enter and exit.
The interior of the chapel was turned into a welcome desk, café area and gift shop. To give the interior a modern look, while also increasing its functionality, MVRDV lined the chapel walls with bright red shelving that is easily removed should the building be turned back into a chapel in the future. The shelves break up the space while also displaying the design objects for sale in the gift shop. The iconic original parapet was restored, and the welcome desk was placed in front of it. The original altar, organ, columns and windows were cleaned and restored to their original glory, and were left with white borders in order to highlight their historical significance.
The chapel transformation merges two structures together, paying respect to the building’s history, and giving it resplendent new use.