Yesterday we presented the book Sketches for a National History Museum. However, flipping through the book and talking with the young architects involved, I realise it could also be called “Sketches for a Museum in the 21st century”. Three young European architecture firms came up with three different possibilities for future museum architecture. Here’s how they envision the architecture of the museum of the future.
An enormous hall
An extremely spacious central hall makes me think immediately of Tate Modern. If you think that is cool architecture, however, 51N4E’s proposal might be your dream come true. Their design “Hall of History” consists of a ten-storeys-high wall with exposition spaces, overlooking an enormous hall where flexible expositions of all sizes can be organised. From the “wall” a visitor can look out at what happens in the “hall”, and vice versa.
I love how this design makes it possible to tell larger stories. Imagine the wall being a timeline of art history. From the hall you can get a sense of what influenced who etc. whereas in the spaces in the wall you can see individual art works from a certain period.
A modern Forum Romanum
The Italian firm Baukuh was obviously inspired by history as much as by the future. Their flexible proposal “Forum Olanda” can best be described as a modern Forum Romanum. On one side of the square, there’s room for a permanent collection, whereas on the square through variable installations many different things can be organised: expositions, concerts, maybe even protests and rebellion. The video below gives a good sense of the flexibility of this design.
I like it how they’ve managed to make room in the museum for the many different functions a museum might have in the future. Also, it’s a very open building, which seems to welcome people.
The third design feels most like a traditional museum, with a twist. Monadnock designed a bombastic building with in it hundreds of connected rooms. Sort of like Cube meets the Prado. The variety of sizes of the rooms makes it possible to have presentations of different sizes. The almost endless connections between rooms allow many different routes through the museum.
What I like is that this design answers to the increasing desire for people to have a personalized experience. Every visitor could take their own tour, seeing what they would like to see. Also, you can get pleasantly lost in a building like this.
All three designs are meant to encourage thinking about architecture for future museums. And, I think, they do. You can get the book or come by to see much more about the proposals and share your thoughts on the architecture.innl.nl. I’m curious to hear which one is your favourite, why, and what other options you can think of.