Fons van den Berg
Museums and exhibition buildings
Van Abbemuseum (Extension)
This museum consists of a main exhibition area surrounded by a string of connected galleries with blank walls and splayed corners. The intensity of the toplighting can be adjusted using a system of slats below the roof lights. This traditional architecture is characterized by its solid brick facades, its symmetry and such monumental elements as the tower and the sculpture-lined stair. Kropholler's museum building has been restored and enlarged so that it now has three times as much space for exhibitions and facilities. The new exhibition areas occupy an expressive block in five levels, two of which are below ground, topped with a tall tower whose facades tilt every which way. The river Dommel laps around three sides of the extension. A network of stairs and landings in the tower - a 'museum within a museum' - is to provoke artists into making site-specific installations.