Beel & Achtergael Architects teamed up with Utrecht-based Peter Versseput to give the oldest municipal museum in the Netherlands a freshly glazed renovation. The Centraal Museum -- which dates back to 1838 -- has shaken off its dusty image with a new transparent entrance, a tickets office, a shop, a restaurant and exhibition rooms for sheltering new art purchases. Made entirely from double-glazed glass panels, the new spaces beautifully contrast with the former medieval monastery, converting the art and design-filled building into a light and open museum that definitely inspires visitors to explore.
The Centraal Museum features fashion, design and contemporary art alongside works by the old masters. A luscious central courtyard provides plenty of natural light and fresh air to the building’s interior, and wonderful green steps take visitors towards Richard Hutten‘s multifunctional outdoor furniture Zzzzidt-objects. The quirky directors office designed by Atelier Van Lieshout is bolted to an outside wall, and it offers space for working, sleeping and relaxing while planning the museum’s next steps.
The restaurant — also decorated by renowned Dutch designer Richard Hutten — is located in the old convent area and features two long tables for sharing Dutch delicacies. The library on the top floor has been decorated with Rietveld’s furniture, which visitors can rest upon while gleaning deeper insight into the museum’s history, features and current exhibitions. The museum’s contemporary exhibits fit surprisingly well with the medieval building’s shell, creating a unique contrast between the old and the new. Beel & Achtergael’s extension and renovation of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht is a contemporary design made with respect for the past.
Photo © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat