American studio Michael Graves & Associates have completed a new building to house over 230 cars of the Dutch national automobile museum in the Hague.
The new home for the Louwman Museum features peaked roofs and dormer windows in sympathy with traditional architecture in the area and attempts to resemble a traditional carriage house.
The facade is made of basket weave-patterned brickwork with bluestone details and a slate roof.
The building comprises an auditorium, restaurant, workshops, conference facilities and exhibition spaces.
The 185,000 square-foot building houses the largest collection of automotive art in the world.
Here’s some more information from the architects:
National Automobile Museum, designed by Michael Graves & Associates, opens in the Netherlands
Building’s Understated Elegance Gives Center Stage to Remarkable Collection
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – Michael Graves & Associates, architects of more than 350 major buildings around the world, have just finished work on The Louwman Collection, the National Automobile Museum of the Netherlands. The project was designed by MGA Principal and Studio Head Gary Lapera, AIA.
Speaking of the firm’s interest in museum design, Founding Principal Michael Graves remarks, “For an architect, museums are certainly among the most gratifying commissions one can receive—they give you a chance to contribute to cultural history and to the public’s shared experience of that history. We’ve been fortunate to have designed a variety of museums over the years.” Says Gary Lapera, “In designing this particular museum, we were greatly influenced by the character of the historical and physical context, and endeavored to give this institution a presence with a unique sense of place.”
The 185,000-square-foot building contains temporary and permanent exhibition galleries, a reception hall, conference facilities, an auditorium, food service facilities, and workshops for conservation and repair of cars. A gift to the people of the Netherlands, the Louwman Collection is a public showcase of selections from collector Evert Louwman’s extraordinary vintage automobile collection. In addition, the National Automobile Museum of the Netherlands is home to the world’s largest collection of automotive art.
The museum’s simple design vocabulary and massing compliment its historic surroundings: located on a sensitive site near the Queen’s Palace in beautiful Den Haag. Steeply sloped peaked roofs and dormers, characteristic of traditional Dutch architecture, give the building’s exterior the visual aspect of a typical pre-modern carriage house, while breaking down the scale of the overall composition to be sympathetic to a nearby residential district.
The brickwork of the facades, laid in a basket-weave pattern interspersed with projecting bricks, creates textural interest within the otherwise planar surfaces, and is complemented by bluestone detailing and slate roofs. Inside, the Great Hall—a large barrel-vaulted space—creates an east-west spine through the building, separating the double-height volume of the exhibit area from the lower-scaled U-shaped public spaces that define the entry court.
To the rear of the site, a small octagonal pavilion used as a special gallery is located along the axis of an existing allée of trees in Haagsche Bos park. A quiet, contemplative space well suited to its site, the pavilion gracefully exerts a formal but tranquil presence on its serene setting.
About Michael Graves & Associates
Michael Graves & Associates has been in the forefront of architecture and design since AIA Gold Medalist Michael Graves founded his practice in 1964. Today, the practice comprises two firms run by 8 Principals.
Michael Graves & Associates (MGA) provides planning, architecture and interior design services, and Michael Graves Design Group (MGDG) specializes in product design, graphics and branding. MGA has designed many master plans and the architecture and interiors of over 350 buildings worldwide, including hotels and resorts, restaurants, retail stores, civic and cultural projects, office buildings, healthcare, residences and a wide variety of academic facilities.
MGDG has designed and brought to market over 2,000 products for clients such as Target, Alessi, Stryker and Disney. Graves and the firms have received over 200 awards for design excellence. With our unique, highly integrated multidisciplinary practice, the Michael Graves Companies offer strategic advantages to clients worldwide.