Well known for adding quality and coherence to the existing urban context of the Netherlands, Europe and the Russian Federation, Erick van Egeraat shares with us the re-positioning of the Coach house where he combines new and old elements of the museum complex. This project serves as an elevated monumental entry to mark a new phase in the transformation of the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands. More images and description after the break.
The coach-house, one of the oldest original buildings of the museum-complex, was moved as a whole in October 2009 to make place for extensive groundwork. This groundwork was needed to create space for the Museums new , semi submerged, main exhibition-space. The spectacular replacement of the Coach-house as a ‘floating’ entrance to the Museum combines old, and new elements of the museum in spatially unorthodox, but captivating manner. The Coach-house will rest upon a glass plinth, revealing the building’s new function elegantly. The historic façade is painstakingly restored. During the day, the glass plinth allows light to enter the submerged exhibition space. At night, interior lighting transforms the coach-house into a beacon for the city and its inhabitants.
The physical re-positioning is a spectacular maneuver in which the entire Coach-house is returned to its original position, now however elevated a meter. This elevation redefines the Coach-house as the new monumental entry of the ‘Drents Museum’. The visitors will descend past the entry into the newly build submerged main exhibition space. This exhibition space offers, in opposition to the existing museum, room for larger exhibitions of various sizes. This will allow the Drents Museum to collaborate more frequently with other Museums in featuring an international program.
The staggered, organic roof of the new wing connects existing gardens and parks in the city. Erick van Egeraat is thus creating a publicly accessible park. Openings in the roof allow light to penetrate into the exhibition spaces below. The new wing links the new entrance with existing parts of the museum and the city landscape.
The new design for the Drents Museum reinforces both it’s scenic character as well as the the cultural-historic face of Assen’s city centre. ‘ Our goal was to add new architectural and economic value by providing dramatically new spaces for culture’ says Erick van Egeraat ‘I am happy to see that it all starts to work out fine’.