National Glass Museum / bureau SLA


Architect: bureau SLA
Location: , Netherlands
Design Team: Peter van Assche (architect), Grazina Bendikaite Mathijs Cremers (project architect), Mick van Essen Gonçalo, Moreira Tereza Novosadova
Interior: Piet Hein Eek Eek & Ruijgrok BV Nuenenseweg 167 5667 KP Geldrop
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of bureau SLA

© bureau SLA

Once the villa on Lingedijk 30 had been acquired, bureau SLA were commissioned to turn the two buildings into a home for the National Glass Museum. It was suggested to turn Cochius’ former residence into an exhibition area and to use the second villa as offices, storage facilities and a cafeteria. Whilst this fulfilled functional requirements, it seemed like a missed opportunity to us at bureau SLA, as the new situation would appear to be not very different from the old one. The museum would have more space, indeed, but this would not be visible from the outside.

© bureau SLA

So what would happen if we made both buildings fully accessible to the public? The museum’s employees could eat in the restaurant, the visitors could have full access to the collection of glass, including that in storage, and the administrative staff could work in the library. Furthermore, the exhibition rooms could be far more spacious. Instead of the small rooms of the existing villas, in which visitors need to climb up and down stairs all the time, circulation and exhibition spaces could to be much more generous.

© bureau SLA

The four pedestrian bridges that bureau SLA designed draws everything together in an elegant manner. Visitors can idle through extensive rooms; only one lift is needed and an enormous amount of space is gained. The bridges serve as storage space in which all the museum’s objects are on display, in cases specifically designed for the museum by Piet Hein Eek. In the historical villas not much more needed to be done; they were elegant by themselves. Repairs were carried out where needed, with some later additions removed. The bridges were constructed from several layers of polycarbonate panels and covered by a translucent skin of grey, powder-coated, aluminium mesh. During the day they contrast sharply with the refined old villas, whereas at night they glow in reflection of the 9000 glass objects inside them.

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Cite: "National Glass Museum / bureau SLA" 15 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    In generally solution is fine… But I’m not sure about this mesh…

  • Forrest

    I normally like the contrast of new/old, but this one seems a bit off to me. Perhaps the new just overpowers the old a little too much in this project.

  • Joe

    Kinda cute, but really-

    this is pretty cliche, for a material so amazing and versatile as glass.

    Saana’s item in Toledo is much farther ahead in terms of
    thinking. This is surprisingly limited for a DUTCH firm.