's Hertogenbosch
  • Culture
  • Public
  • Transformation
  • Interior
  • Restoration
  • New construction

By combining the newbuild for the Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch (called the Den Bosch Design Museum since 2018) with the renovation and extension of the Noordbrabants Museum, the historic city centre of ’s-Hertogenbosch has become home to an integrated museum quarter. Contemporary art has been brought together with regional art, culture and history around the monumental garden of the former provincial government building.  

The monumental garden was the key starting point in the design for the new museum complex. The various buildings and their functions have been threaded together around the garden. When walking around the museums, the garden is visible at all times, acting as a kind of orientation point. Part of the museum route is freely accessible, making the enclosed garden part of the public urban fabric.

  • Design: 2005-2008
  • Client: Provincie Noord-Brabant, Gemeente 's-Hertogenbosch
  • Location: 's-Hertogenbosch
  • Delivery: 2012
Situation Museumkwartier

Noordbrabants Museum

Since 1987 the Noordbrabants Museum has been housed in the former governmental palace, which itself dates from 1768. The monumental building has been returned to its full former glory, whereby the original structure of the palace has been restored as much as possible. A series of period rooms, each with their own colour scheme, has been created. Automated ticket sales take place in the former coach house on the forecourt.

Repurposing the palace into a museum 25 years ago, architect Wim Quist created two museum wings. These so-called Quist Wings have been renovated and extended with new galleries and facilities areas. This has been achieved by building on existing qualities wherever possible - a clear succession of galleries, northern light through elegant saw-tooth roofs and surprising views into the city and garden.

The new galleries are surrounded by six museum homes, which prevent a blind façade onto the adjacent square. These homes and the new galleries have been finished in dark brickwork, so that the museum complex blends in naturally with the historic fabric of Den Bosch city centre.

Entrance Noordbrabants Museum
Rear facade palace to museum garden

‘The original structure of the palace has been restored as much as possible. A series of period rooms, each with their own colour scheme, has been created.’

Connection corridor
Museum space
Reconstruction style room
Restored style room
Museum space
Museum space

Den Bosch Design Museum

A new building has been erected on the other side of the palace garden, to house the Den Bosch Design Museum. The museum consists of corbelled volumes which follow the bend in the adjacent alleyway, where the Den Bosch Design Museum has its own main entrance. The entrance is heralded from afar by the glittering, green glazed façade of the new volume: an eye-catching, contemporary intervention in a forgotten corner of the city centre. The ground floor features a public area with a reception counter, an auditorium and a museum shop. The remarkable spiral staircase affords visitor access to two upper galleries.

Innergarden between De Griffie and Design Museum
Entrance Design Museum
Sculptural staircase
Museum room first floor
Museum room second floor
Museum shop, corridor and inner garden
View of red beech and Design Museum
Museum shop
Museum shop
Museum shop
Museum shop

Connecting corridor

The two museums and the common functions are linked by a central connecting corridor. This tall space runs along the Registry Building and the Council Chamber and features a glass façade on the garden side. There is a spacious patio in the museum garden, redesigned by MTD landscape architects. The walkway is freely accessible, so it is possible to walk through the museum complex, visit the museum shop or have a drink in the restaurant without having to buy a ticket. The connecting corridor welds the different buildings and functions in the Museum Quarter together into a unified space, whilst the contemporary Design Museum and the monumental Noordbrabants Museum retain their unique identities. The realisation of the Museum Quarter means that a forgotten corner of the historic city centre has been transformed into an inviting world of art, culture, education and meeting space. A walk through the complex of buildings, each with their own history and architecture, is a fascinating exploration through space and time.

Connecting corridor with view on terrace and garden

Registry Building

Between the two museums is situated the 19th-century neogothic building of the former Provincial Registry by architect Van Lokhorst. This now houses common functions, such as a restaurant, meeting rooms, offices for both museums and a staff canteen. The former Council Chamber will be used for large meetings, wedding ceremonies and other festive activities. The Registry also houses the Erfgoed Brabant heritage organisation and the Provincial Archive of Archaeological Findings. The building has been completely restored and the corridors and common areas have been returned to their original colours and materials wherever possible.

Renovated State hall
Restored corridor
Restored staircase
Restored ceiling
Space for the Provincial Archive Soil Finds
Temporary pavilion for the Jeroen Bosch-exhibition

Project team

Janneke Bierman Hubert-Jan Henket (founder) Yvonne Segers-van Wilderen Jorg de Bie Armand Bos Sjoekie de Bijll Nachenius Henk van Laarhoven Alexander Boers Bas van Duijnhoven Jasper Dekker Job Schroën Kim de Man Maron Vondeling Mirjam Steins Robert von Lipzig Rolf van Boxmeer Stephan Kentie Tamara van Kampen Teresa van Rosmalen

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