Marie van Nieukerken
Johan van Nieukerken
Museums and exhibition buildings
When this institute building was delivered in 1926 after preparations lasting 14 years reactions ranged from ecstatic to damning. In terms of architecture, handling of materials, applied art and symbolism it is an anachronism reflecting the 19th-century thinking of city administrators and the colonial elite. The ensemble divides into two linked buildings: the museum block capped with a tall vaulted rooflight and the main building boasting an exuberant Marble Hall and a magnificent auditorium with timber roof joists. The building was lavishly decorated for its day and well furnished with symbolic sculptures.