Michael van Gessel
Museums and exhibition buildings
This museum stands in the middle of a new park designed by landscape architect Michael van Gessel in the grounds of Oranjewoud, an 18th-century country estate. Given over to Frisian painting, it lies like a bridge across the central 'Grand Canal'. Almost the entire long narrow volume of 104 by 13 metres is clad in rough basalt stone panels. The part of the building straddling the water has all-glass facades. On plan the museum divides into three parts: a middle section containing the entrance, café and services, a part for the permanent exhibition and a third part on the opposite side for temporary shows. The café above the water has a concave ceiling. A narrow glass plinth in the exhibition areas washes the floor with light, giving just a hint of the light outside in these otherwise hermetic spaces.