Architecture these days is always bringing surprises and the unexpected to the table. Buildings are being designed that defy gravity and the laws of physics. It really seems like anything goes and
that is just perfect in my book.
Take a look at a outstanding addition that was added on to a museum in the city of Zwolle in the Netherlands. The museum is called Museum de Fundadatie and it houses an extensive collection of art spanning from traditional to contemporary. The need for additional exhibition space sparked the unusual design addition that has enhanced the museum’s visibility worldwide.
The original building was a court house created in 1838 and was designed in the neoclassical style that was popular in France and other countries at the time. Located on the edge of the medieval center of the city and near the canals, this former Palace of Justice received a creative bang in the form of huge vertical extension on top of the building that is in the shape of oversized oval.
Bierman Henket architecten, the architects behind this extremely impressive addition to a traditional building, should get big dezign kudos for their courage and imagination. I personally was completely taken aback when I saw the first picture of the museum, but I am positively smitten with it’s ingenuity.
Undoubtedly, one must admit this tiled oval addition, clad in 55,000 faceted ceramic tiles…of mixed blues and white to blend in with the sky…which are interrupted at one point by an enormous picture window, has completely changed the landscape of the city. AND I am sure it has attracted many, many more people to the exhibitions at the museum.
With nicknames such as the “Art Cloud” and the “Egg” …quite apropos, I might add…the structure added not only 11,000 s/f more gallery space but a chic,modern café. I can imagine the views from the huge window are breathtaking allowing one to take in the cityscape in quite a new fashion.
Just how does one get from the old building to the new one? The architects have provided a glass elevator to move visitors from one structure to the other and they increased the height of the original entranceway so that it pierces into the new oval section, providing a seamless transition from one section to the other.
Some reviews I read about the project complained that the interior was not conducive to large works of art and the curved walls made displaying exhibitions properly quite impossible. I say, art in the 21st Century comes in so many different formats that museums have to keep pace with providing environments that are as creative as the art. AND, let us not forget about the the famous Guggenheim Museum here in NYC with its curved walls and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain…and we all know the the list goes on and on.
If you want to learn more about the city of Zwolle, there is an interesting video to watch on the museum’s web site, which will give you a bit of the history of the original building and a perspective on the new addition.
If and when you make it to the Netherlands, do not forget to put the lovely city of Zwolle on the list, and be sure to plan a special visit to the marvelous building known as the Museum de Fundatie…and then let me know what you think!
Zo lang tot de volgende keer!
Note: Several photos in this post attributed to Joep Jacobs, photographer.