Amsterdam-based firm NL Architects have been selected to design Arnhem's new ArtA Center, a new public arts cluster that will house the Arnhem Museum and Focus Cinema. Coming out on top in a shortlist which included BIG, Kengo Kuma & Associates and SO-IL, NL Architects' terraced design features a rooftop urban park with views over the Rhine, subterranean movie halls and an adaptable, open plan stepped museum.
The jury's decision commends the design for the way it "radiates enthusiasm", and the "simple and clear" concept, as well as praising the "inventive and innovative" mentality of the architects.
More on the design and the jury's selection after the break
The design centers around the ground-level Art Square, a large space which opens up to the street outside. This space serves as a "public intermediary" between the building and city, and also connects the museum above with the film theatres below. The jury praised this element for the way it resonates with "the findings of recent studies that showed that the lobby in many art clusters is the central area, where there is something to do and something to experience."
The film halls are mostly situated below this Art Square, however one of the halls seems to 'escape' from the base, to become a prominent and visible emblem for the cinema as a whole, and to animate the vast space of the Lobby. Above the lobby is the multi-level open plan museum, which NL Architects describe as a concept which "combines an ‘open’ plan – that allows endless configurations – with a specific spatial experience."
Topping the whole design is the baroque-inspired rooftop park, with grand stairways between each level and viewing windows into the museum spaces below. The park cascades downwards towards the town, inviting pedestrians up to the far end where they are rewarded with spectacular views over the Rhine.
The Jury's decision concludes that they are "convinced that the approach and mentality of the designers could result in a contemporary arts cluster that meets the high expectations. The vision of NL Architects ensures symbiosis between the cinema and the museum, while also offering many opportunities to explore new ways to use the building. The proposed art plaza would greatly enrich the neighbourhood and the public space."
CompetitionArtA Cultural Center
LocationMeijnerswijk 5, 6841 HA Arnhem, The Netherlands