red shelves transform entrance to stedelijk museum schiedam by MVRDV
red shelves transform entrance to stedelijk museum schiedam by MVRDV red shelves transform entrance to stedelijk museum schiedam by MVRDV
jun 18, 2014

red shelves transform entrance to stedelijk museum schiedam by MVRDV

red shelves transform entrance to stedelijk museum schiedam by MVRDV
all photos by daria scagliola, stijn brakee, courtesy of MVRDV




MVRDV have completed the transformation of a neoclassical chapel to serve as the entrance of the stedelijk museum in schiedam, the netherlands. the design is clearly distinguished from the existing building with visually bold red shelves which contain all new program. the historical structure was built in 1787 by jan giudici, from whom it takes its name, as a spiritually based guesthouse for the poor, elderly, and sick, and is finished in sober, gray materials. the bright color of the addition serves to clearly juxtapose the old and new. the scheme simultaneously respects the former sacred function of the space, while creating a warmer atmosphere for the current museum experience.

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

the walls are infilled with shelves, or patterned with similar banding for an improved acoustical quality




being a listed monument, the renovation project could not alter the existing structure in any way. thus, the shelving and wall infills have particular boundary geometries to remain pulled away from the various historical building elements. the project was constructed in such a way that it can be removed at any point, while leaving no trace on the overall structure.

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

the infilled shelving has a particular boundary geometries responding to the various existing building elements




the program for the entrance includes a reception desk, wardrobe, museum store, a café counter, and various display spaces for art and products on sale. the entirety of the structure’s walls are infilled by shelves (constructed in MDF), or banded to maintain the same pattern and provide improved acoustical quality. LEDs are integrated into some of the panels to create gentle lighting accents.

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

the bright color of the addition is juxtaposed against the sober chapel finishes

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

spatial development diagrams

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

the entire existing structure is maintained, while the four walls are covered in red surfaces

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

the courtyard space in front of the chapel is covered by dark brick

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom




nathalie de vries, one of the principals/founders of MVRDV, states, “with one clear and monumental gesture, we have combined many functions whilst at the same time keeping the space as open and usable as possible. the design is respectful towards the impressive and grandiose yet at the same time austere chapel, whilst adding qualities the space lacked, providing new functions.” 

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

mvrdv museum schiedam designboom

the scheme respects the former function of the space while creating a warmer atmosphere for the museum experience




stedelijk museum schiedam is a municipal museum for modern art and owns a fine collection of works by artists such as karel appel, lucebert, constant and corneille. the museum is located in schiedam’s historical town centre, a quintessentially dutch town with canals, churches and many wind mills of gin distilleries. the transformation was made possible with the support of bankgiro lottery, foundation schiedam vlaardingen, de groot foundation and the municipality of schiedam.





project info:


location: schiedam, netherlands
year: 2013 -2014
client: stedelijk museum schiedam
program: 500 sqm transformation and relocation of entrance: cafe, wardrobe, museum shop and event space
design team: winy maas, jacob van rijs and nathalie de vries with fokke moerel, arjen ketting, taylor cornelson and zeying song
lighting: viabizzuno
structural engineering: ABT
shelf construction: coors interieurbouw
photography: daria scagliola, stijn brakee

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