Photos by Luuk Kramer
Hans van Heeswijk Architects has completed its two-year expansion of the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague. The bright, contemporary underground wing adds a museum shop, restaurant, library, exhibition hall, and educational spaces. A new foyer nearly 20 feet below ground level connects the existing 17th-century Dutch classical building and the 1930s Art Deco former clubhouse known as Plein 26 across the street.
Hans van Heeswijk found inspiration from I.M. Pei’s renovation of the Louvre in Paris and Apple’s New York flagship store. Despite the project’s subterranean status, natural light floods all sides of the expansion, thanks to glass panels and generous windows. A large carved wooden reception desk and LED screens greet guests. Central to the design is elevator made entirely of structural glass without the support of the steel structure.
The project also included a renovation of the main building that included upgraded climate controls, soft LED lighting, period-appropriate Venetian glass chandeliers, and new silk wallcoverings.