Frans Hals Museum / De Hallen Haarlem is a double museum, combining the 17th century art of Dutch Master Frans Hals with contemporary art in De Hallen. The museum is housing in two monumental 17th century buildings in the centre of Haarlem.
Both museums share the context of the 17th century inner city of Haarlem. The urban fabric links both locations and turns the city into a part of the museum.
Both buildings share the need to reorganise its relation towards the city. We have been searching for public interior spaces that are freely accessible in order to mix city and museum.
Both building are in need of a wat of communicating with the city, in which the entrance is the most prominent character. A recognizable gate, designed alike, links the individual museums.
In De Hallen, activating the monumentale Vleeshal is step one. Opening the door is all that's needed. Secondly, we designed a new central access next to the public hall connecting all different levels.
The public hall is a flexibel space, in which empy space can be used in different manners to use it for exhibitions, cafe/shops but also as a place to walk around and wonder.
Next to the hall, a new vertical space is created by taking away the existing infrastructure. A room that links all rooms helps to understand the complex disposition of the different art spaces.
At the Frans Hals Museum, the courtyard garden is an undiscovered wealth for the city. A new entrance space, in between the museum and its public functions links the street to the garden.
The entrance space turns into an inner square surrounded by a cafe and shopsm but also educational acitivities for kids. From here, the garden is accessed by the 17th century gate on the north side of the museum.
The garden itself can become a playground for dialogue with the city: a hidden garden within the inner city, a space for public art and events.