Entrance & Museum shop, 2008
Arising from an, at that time, new vision for Museum Arnhem - in which the museum was not merely to function as a static exhibition area but rather as a dynamic platform for art and culture - the need was felt to redefine its layout and routing. By moving the main entrance to its original location in the centre of the monumental building, space was created for a fully functional entrance and a museum shop.
Due to World War II, but also because of changes in its use, and restructuring, the neo-rococo Grade 1 listed building has, over time, lost many of its distinctive embellishments. These could only be found on old photographs and copies of the building plan. Soda used this as a reference: for the decoration of the displays and the glass divider, sections of the 1880 building plans were blown up to amorphous, ghostly shapes. Soda applied the same principle for the reception of the staff entrance.
Museum café, 2007
By moving the main entrance to its original location in the centre of the building, new space was also created for the café in the extension, designed by Henket. A flexible space which could be divided into different areas, was called for. This enabled the independent reception of visitor groups, outside of museum's opening hours. Furthermore, more space for the kitchen and lavatories was necessary. Soda designed a new layout as well as a new interior for the museum café.
The structure of the extension, which was to remain intact and visible, as well as the eye-catching view, were decisive for the interior design. The choice of materials reflected the temporary nature of the structure. A compact, central volume was placed in it, housing the kitchen, lavatories and a cloak room. The outside of the volume exhibited temporary selections of works of art, selected because of their appeal to the street outside. As with the glass divider in the shop, blow-ups from copies of the original building plans were applied. In this case they could be found in the table tops, carved out and filled in with epoxy resin.
photo's: Rein van der Zee