Sculpture Garden Museum Arnhem

Sculpture Garden Museum Arnhem

Arnhem, Netherlands

Museum extension with panoramic views of the floodplain landscape

The Municipality of Arnhem asked karres+brands to create an urban and landscape analysis of the Arnhem Museum’s development potential. The museum is a popular place in Arnhem, high up on the lateral moraine, overlooking the Rhine. It is a beautiful, old building in a leafy setting. Originally built as a gentlemen’s club and over the years expanded several times, the building no longer meets the current needs and demands for the museum. The building is too small, the management environment insufficient and the spatial organization unsuitable for running a modern business focused on interaction.

Despite its distinctive location, the museum enjoys only a limited visibility from the city, and the view from the sculpture garden is obstructed by overgrown bushes on the steep edge. From the road below and along the river banks, the entrance to the museum garden is poorly visible and the terrain above is also difficult to access. In the current situation, the uniquely positioned building and landscape are hardly used. 

The museum garden and the adjacent green areas are connected via ramps and stairs, which are thickly overgrown, enclosed by fences and uninviting due to overdue maintenance and neglect. An essential part of the assignment is to better anchor the museum in its environment.

Based on a thorough analysis of buildings, garden and context, the starting points for enhancing the spatial quality of the planning area have been drawn up, and the programme’s layout as well as the site’s capacity have been explored. Based on this analysis, there are three possible models for the future expansion of the museum. 

The vision for the future will be focused on connecting the museum to the urban and landscape developments in the city, such as the development of the cultural programme in the centre and development along the banks of the Rhine. This open-minded attitude and search for connection will be reflected in the building and garden’s physical appearance. The museum can thus be interpreted as a link in a larger whole. This means not only a better visibility from the city, but also a grounding in a network of connections.

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In combination with the Arnhem Museum’s underlying vision for the future and insights into the related financial aspects, the study offers input for a decision on the extension, the area development and architect selection.

Project data
Location ​Arnhem, Netherlands Google Maps
Assignment ​Landscape design and urban planning study for museum extension and sculpture garden
Size ​2 hectare
Design ​2015
Construction ​2017 – 2018
Status ​Completed study; architect selected
Client ​Arnhem Municipality
Team ​Sylvia Karres, David Kloet
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