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noAarchitecten, Brugge, Gruuthusemuseum

Contemporary Gothic: Gruuthusemuseum in Bruges

The Gruuthusemuseum in the old quarter of Bruges enables visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the Hanseatic city not only by means of its exhibits but by its very architecture. This goes back to the 15th century palace-like residence of the merchant family it is named for. In the 19th century it was given a Gothic Revival make-over for the opening of the museum, complete with a monumental entrance hall, numerous staircases and a wealth of ornamentation added by the city architect Louis Delacenserie. As noArchitecten notes, the edifice became “more mediaeval than it had ever been”.

noArchitekten has continued this mix of authentic Gothic and Gothic Revival in their refurbishment of the rooms. Now less like museum halls and more like parts in the original residence in impression, the interior subordinates the exhibits to the context. The occasional wall painted in strong colours, on the other hand, refers to the tradition of the 19th century. The new entrance pavilion with a complex roof in folded sheet metal forms a link between the two wings of the museum, and with its glazed front and rear walls signalizes maximum permeability. This is where visitors can buy admission tickets to the museum and also the adjacent Church of Our Lady with its 115-metre-high brickwork tower. Michelangelo’s Madonna, one of the city’s most important art treasures, is to be seen in its interior.

Further information:


TGA-planning: HP Engineering
Construction company: Monument Vandekerckhove NV

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DETAIL 4/2021

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