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Dutch Open Air Museum - Crafts Workshop 2022

Soda was commissioned to transform the former entrance building into a multifunctional space where visitors can learn about crafts, especially by experimenting with them first hand. This craft workshop officially opened in April 2022.


As a first, architectural intervention, Soda removed all the 'buzz' that had accumulated over the past fifty years: the building has literally been opened up again. By reopening the big windows and a new facade, the view of the surroundings is restored. In order to create one large space, walls were removed where possible and the floor was restored. Strong colours such as yellow and orange determine location and routing. To increase the visibility of the entrance, a striking neon has been applied on the outside wall. In addition, Soda has devised an 'outdoor workshop' next to the entrance where tough crafts such as blacksmithing and wood bending can be practised.


In the interior, the image of a workshop and crafts is evoked at various levels, with 'simple' and 'robust' being the key words. All the furniture is intentionally basic. The two labs (one 'clean workshop' for textiles, the other for woodwork) have been provided with solid workbenches. The workshops are separated by a glass wall, which maintains a feeling of spaciousness. On this glass wall, enlarged outlines of tools have been applied. As a contrast to the basic furniture, some craftsmen have produced a masterwork at Soda's request: a big neon on the outside (3tacbv, design by Esther Noyons), wooden benches (Peter Roefs) and anenormous willow lampshade (Esme Hofman) in the entrance.


With the Crafts Workshop, Soda has created a bright building with a fresh, cool interior where visitors can experience the importance of crafts for themselves in an accessible way. A video and exhibition space give more depth to different crafts. 


For this assignment Soda worked closely together with studio-PA2 (Pieter Aartsen), Esther Noyons (graphic design), Julia Roeselers (video) and Pieter van Lier (video editing).