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Boijmans (1), Rotterdam

Functional adaptation of the interior of the Bodon/Robbrecht Daem wing: an invisible intervention

In 2007, we and Walraad architects v.o.f. received two requests from the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum. The first asked us to propose a new route through the ground-floor exhibition areas of the A. Bodon wing, which was built in 1972 and includes a 2003 extension by architects Robbrecht & Daem. The need for this arose from the removal of the print reserve from the basement to allow its presentation to the public on the first floor.

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The second request concerned a restoration plan for the oldest part of the museum, which was designed by architect A. van der Steur in 1935, and achieved listed status in 2000. Renovations were to start in the tower and were to include a new control room.

During the renovation of the Bodon/Robbrecht Daem wing, our main concern was to keep the changes invisible so as to maintain the character and spatial quality of the building. One of the ways we achieved this was by dismantling the closed-off spaces so as to reveal the two stairwells designed by Bodon. We stripped down the existing cloakroom, exhibition rooms and workshops in a similar manner. The space liberated by this enabled us to create an entrance foyer, to make space not only for the print cabinet and reserve, but also for exhibitions and the education centre.

These spaces were laid out by leading artists, such as Marieke van Diemen, who designed the new print cabinet and reserve, in which the most important works from the museum's collection are exhibited in cabinets under low lighting. The entrance foyer features various free-standing eye-catchers, such as Frank Bruggeman's blue, B-shaped reception desk, Studio Wieki Somers' cloakroom carousel, which is suspended from the ceiling; and Bertjan Pot's transparent museum shop. Studio Makkink & Bey designed a special washroom as well as the education centre on the garden side, which includes a striking projection room inside two small interlocking houses.

Project information


Ontwikkelbedrijf Rotterdam


Museumpark 18-20, Rotterdam


2007-2008 ©​Molenaar & Van Winden architecten

completed at

Geeve Bouw, Rhoon

photography by

Hans Wilschut