The Kunsthal in Rotterdam, designed by OMA in 1992, reopens this month after an extensive renovation. After more than 20 years of intense use, OMA, the city of Rotterdam and the Kunsthal have completed their comprehensive plan to upgrade the performance of the building in terms of energy, security, program and circulation. The glass facades and roof are now fitted with high performance insulation materials. But there is more. In combination with energy efficient lighting, a new state-of-the-art climate system and the subdivision of the public spaces, future energy consumption will reduce considerably. Security and building operations have been improved. A second entrance has been added, making it possible to access the auditorium and exhibition spaces independently. The reception, restaurant and museum shop are now integrated into the route of the building. These transformations will enable the Kunsthal to evolve with the growing need for economic independence of cultural institutions.
Despite these considerable changes, the original design concept has been preserved and often reinforced. Ellen van Loon: “The renovation demonstrates the possibility of updating the building to meet contemporary requirements, whilst retaining the original concept of an ‘exhibition machine’.”
The project was led by OMA partner Ellen van Loon, and OMA associates Michel van de Kar and Alex de Jong (OMA).