In 2006, the museum went through a renovation which relocated the main entrance in the basement, the stair leading to the reception area proved difficult to find. The chapel was built in 1787 by Jan Giudici as a spiritual center for a guesthouse for the poor elderly and sick with a sober, greyish interior. The centerpiece of the museum, the neoclassical Giudici chapel lay neglected and lacked good acoustic quality.

Our design unites all the demanded program in a series of large book shelves, they contain the reception desk, wardrobe, the museum store, the cafe counter and various presentation spaces for art and products for sale. The bright red color was chosen to act as a warm element, making a clear juxtaposition between the old and new and to pay respect to the former sacral function of the space“, described MVRDV.

Photography of Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Photography of Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

The chapel is a monument and the transformation could not change the existing structure. The shelf is constructed in MDF and respectfully meanders around the historical elements such as windows, columns and the organ – framing them at the same time. The distance between the shelf and the elements also mediates between the perfectly level new addition and the oblique historical structure. Perforations in the backs of the shelves avoid problems with humidity and the higher shelves play an acoustic role whilst others highlight products by using built in LED armatures. The construction is so light and easy removable without leaving any trace in the monument.

Photography of Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Photography of Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Nathalie de Vries said: “With one clear and monumental gesture, we have combined many functions whilst at the same time keeping the space as open and usable as possible. The design is respectful towards the impressive and grandiose yet at the same time austere chapel, whilst adding qualities the space lacked, providing new functions“.

MVRDV realized the transformation together with ABT structural engineers, Coors Interior the new shelves and the large chandelier in the space and lighting fixtures are designed by Viabizzuno.

Photography of Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Photography of Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Stedelijk Museum Schiedam is a municipal museum for modern art and owns a fine collection of works by artists such as Karel Appel, Lucebert, Constant and Corneille. The museum is located in Schiedam’s historical town center, a quintessentially Dutch town with canals, churches and many wind mills of gin distilleries. The transformation was made possible with the support of Bankgiro Lottery, Foundation Schiedam Vlaardingen, De Groot Foundation and the Municipality of Schiedam.

Project Information:
Architect : MVRDV
Location : Schiedam, The Netherlands
Project Year : 2014
Project Area : 500.0 square meters

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