In Utrecht’s historical city center, a national heritage monument has been transformed to house BAK (“Basis voor Actuele Kunst”, i.e. Base for Contemporary Art). To emphasize the contrast between contemporary art and historical housing, an object has been placed two meters behind the listed monumental façade. Apart from being a functional solution, this is an architectural object on its own merit. At street level a semi-transparent screen, made from perforated steel plates (emergency stair treads), can be observed behind the historical façade. The screen conceals two open staircases, which takes visitors up to the exhibition spaces on the higher floors. It simultaneously serves as a bookcase for the library, and a counter for the entrance hall. Integrated fluorescent lamps transform the object into a tall illuminated advertisement. The interim floor between the object and the façade is designed in glass, which enables visitors to experience this relative small space from the floor to the ceiling. One aspect of the object contains a secluded room with toilets and a utility room, as well as space for equipment and exhibition materials. The object enhances the transition between old and new and represents the center for contemporary art.