• Huis Marseille
  • Amsterdam
  • NL
  • 2011
  • i.c.w. Michaël Snitker & Bart de Haas

Huis Marseille, a historic canal house accommodating Amsterdam’s first photography museum, expanded by acquiring the canal house next-door. As strict functional and historical regulations dominated the renovation and expansion plan, the museum director asked us to propose the museum board a few specific and nuanced interventions to mark the entrance area, shop, library and especially the new routing and spatial connection between both houses. In order to turn two canal houses into a museum.

So we defined a new routing and proposed to develop a subtle spatial color scheme structuring different floors and spaces and accompanying different routes. We proposed to hack the existing wooden beams of the intended library, plainly turning historic structural elements into bookshelves and creating an equally modestly fitting and fiercely monumental space for books. We suggested to design a few specific spatial elements to refurnish library, shop and entrance area, incorporating the newly developed color scheme and special typography, structuring the spaces and providing all functional needs. Finally we proposed to reveal the existing, but currently secretly hidden, very narrow intermediate space between both canal houses at the different points of passage from one house to the other in order to ambiguously represent both their new spatial connection and historic separation.

Unfortunately the museum board turned out to be not amused at all with any specific intervention. And they didn’t want a new library.