Team B&R has been involved with the Municipal Museum of The Hague since 1992. We have worked on the restoration and renovation of this iconic monument (1935) by H.P. Berlage and we've made the designs for two major extensions - one underground exhibition space, nowadays known as the "Wonderkamers", a spectacular discovery world for children. The second extension we made was the transformation of the central garden into a multifunctional indoor exhibition and hospitality area.
The heart of the museum Berlage designed the central garden as a space for relaxation in the heart of the rich collection of modern art pieces. B&R believed this should be the startingpoint for the design of the new, covered hall; a light space where visitors can come to relax and ponder, have a drink and feel like they are outside. The beautiful details on the outer walls of the garden were cherished and still look like the exterior of the museum. The eight high columns support a glass roof that lets through daylight in a spectacular way.
Design dilemmas The complexity of this transformation assignment demanded a good deal of creativity and problem solving ability from our part. First of all we had to make sure the room was acoustically perfect for many different events such as dinner parties, concerts, lecutures and every day use by museum visitors. The climate should be optimal during every season. Furthermore the design should 'fit the existing building like a custom made suit'. With an incredible team of technical experts we managed to work out an innovative design in very short amount of time. The beauty of the design lies in its apparent simplicity and the invisibility of the applied technical installations. The roof is made of low-iron glass which gives the space a beautiful outdoor atmosphere. The eight roof-bearing columns are covered with acoustic absorbing micro perforated plates. We also applied an acoustic velum in the center of the glass roof with incorporated leds. Futhermore we applied the BaOpt ventilation system; which ensures a more constant temperature, better distribution of fresh air in a room, better air conditioning and therefore higher oxygen levels. This system functions in much the same way as the outdoor climate. It creates high and low pressure zones, generating an indoor pressure in the room of around 4 Pascal higher than outside. This causes turbulence so that the air quality is improved even in places that are difficult to reach.