Museum de Lakenhal

Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven as Architects, Interior design

Museum De Lakenhal has been the museum for art, crafts and history of the city of Leiden since 1874. Since then it has been located in the monumental "Laecken-Halle" from 1641 by city architect Arent van's-Gravesande, a perfect example of Dutch Classicism that embodies the pride of the city as a central trading center for all types of fabrics.

 

As a museum, De Lakenhal has already seen two major expansions: in 1890 with the Harteveltzaal and in 1921 with the Papevleugel. In addition, the conglomerate has been rebuilt again and again. Almost labyrinthine corridors were created, which sent the visitors through the different parts of the building in ever new ways. The primary goal of the 2013 architecture competition was to simplify everything, modernize the buildings and create a new public domain and a well-organized staff area on a backward plot to the historic Lammermarkt. The competition was won by Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven in Rotterdam, who cooperated with the renovation experts from Julian Harrap (London).

 

Their common design can be summed up in one common denominator: simplification. Everything that hindered the orientation and routing inside was removed. The inner courtyard behind the historic main building, the ‘Achterplaats’, has once again become a large room and a new glass canopy has become the central hub. Visitors enter the house as before through the wall gate on the Oude Singel and go straight across the front yard into the vestibule of the main building. The museum shop, the cash register and cloakroom areas are now located here and are designed as a coherent family of furniture pieces. The path then leads to the Achterplaats and from here to the various parts of the building: the magnificent upper floor, the Harteveltzaal, the Papevleugel or the latest addition, the Van Steijn building by Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven. The four different wings with their own ‘fond de teint’ can be seen in the courtyard, which makes orientation now easier. Otherwise, for the entire approach, the traces from 375 years of building history were preserved as far as possible and left visible. New elements were brought in balance whereby the orientation, art experience and the domestic quality of exhibition rooms were spatially improved and supported.

 

In addition to the restoration of the monumental building complex, the ‘Van Steijn Gebouw’ has been added on the west side that extends telescopically between the Oude Singel and the Lammermarkt. On the ground floor there is space for varying exhibition galleries, a museum café and an expedition area. At the Lammermarkt, the new building is growing into a shouldered stature in which offices, studios and a library are housed. Like the Laecken-Halle and the Papevleugel, the building presents itself as a recognizable one-piece architectural unit. It’s a new member of the Lakenhal family that refers to the morphology of the large textile factories that stood around the Lammermarkt until the end of the 19th century. These factories were pragmatic brick buildings, but with a proud presence and fine details. An ‘architecture parlante’ where the patterns of brick subtly referred to the woven structures of the fabrics they produced.

 

With a sophisticated restoration, expansion, interior design and integration of several new art pieces, the building, its collection and many storylines have been brought to an editorial synthesis. The special architectural history has been made tangible and legible, so that the museum shows itself as a detailed sampling of time layers again.

Elegantly connecting elements in Museum De Lakenhal

VeroMetal® International as Suppliers

The new wing of Museum De Lakenhal, created by Happel, Cornelisse & Verhoeven Architects, is designed to connect contrasting elements of past and present times.

Eyecatching metal-coated bannisters and railings form a bridge between these divergent worlds.

 

Bannisters and railings

The bannisters and railings create seamless transitions between different constructions, spaces and architectonic patterns.

The balustrades function as construction elements, but with their refined surface of VeroMetal® Brass with a delicate patina they contribute to the overall aesthethic experience.

The brass metal finish gives the railings an exclusive, yet sophisticated look, but without stealing the spotlight from the design or space. With VeroMetal® finishes, function and form converge.

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