Museum Prinsenhof

Museum Prinsenhof
  • Culture
  • Restoration
  • Sustainability

Museum Prinsenhof Delft is going to be renovated into an attractive and contemporary museum with enhancement of its monumental character. The museum will have a new entrance and become more accessible. It opens up to the outside, allowing daylight in and views of the monument and the city. The national monumental complex will also be preserved and given a high-quality museum environment.

Museum Prinsenhof Delft displays the history of the Netherlands through three themes that are inextricably linked to Delft: William of Orange, Delft Blue and the Delft Masters. One of the important events in Dutch history - the assassination of William of Orange - took place here. Besides the 'bullet holes', works by important painters such as Johannes Vermeer are on display and the book chest in which Hugo de Groot escaped from Slot Loevestein 400 years ago is also part of the collection. The complex housing the museum is listed in the top 100 most important monuments in the Netherlands.

  • Design: 2021
  • Client: City of Delft
  • Location: Delft
Impression of cross section design Prinsenhof

Full advantage has been taken of the power of the monument. That already starts at the Oude Delft. There, people are made curious about the museum. Walking along the Oude Delft soon, you will see the beautifully lit old ceilings through the windows and catch your first glimpse of the museum. 

Ground floor plan of the preliminary design

The museum's new entrance will be at the Prinsentuin. The route through the garden will soon give a nice view of the monumental facades of the former convent. You enter the heart of the complex in a beautiful space, which gives a good first impression of what is to come during your visit to the museum. Shutters are opened and the exhibition partitions in front of the windows are removed. This allows daylight back into the museum spaces and enhances the monument: light in and views out. Not all art tolerates daylight. The places where light is desired and where there are nice views to the outside are therefore carefully chosen.

Example of how the museum opens up to the outside in preliminary design

The museum will soon be much more accessible, including for people with physical disabilities. Now there are more than thirty different levels on the ground floor alone. A new staircase and lift were therefore designed in the courtyard, connecting the floors in the building. Ramps bridge the small level differences.

To the left of the new entrance to the Prinsentuin, the twentieth-century connecting corridor will be demolished and rebuilt, reusing the old materials as much as possible. This is necessary to eliminate the current level differences and make a good connection. Following on from this will be the entrance to the museum café with terrace at the Prinsentuin.

Drawing of cross-section of new central stairwell and lift

“Only interventions in the monument that are really necessary for the accessibility and proper functioning of the museum will be made, and as much as possible in the twentieth-century building layer. It was historically designed by architect Lansdorp during the previous renovation. This keeps intact older layers that so characterise the historic character of the building.”

Overview drawing preliminary design Prinsenhof

Part of the plan is to improve the museum climate of the exhibition rooms. The high-quality museum climate allows for the future creation of exhibitions with high-quality loans.

The monumental complex will be made more sustainable: it will be insulated where possible, rear windows will be added and sustainable materials will be used as much as possible. The building will be gasless and equipped with sustainable installations, including heat pumps. Materials released during renovation will be reused as much as possible.

Sander de Bruin Sjoekie de Bijll Nachenius
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