Project: Museum Aan de Stroom in Antwerp, Belgium
Sara Pepitone -- Interior Design, 8/1/2012 12:41:00 AM
Project: Museum Aan de Stroom
Opened: May 2011
It's easy to visualize the warehouses that inspired the design of Atwerp, Belgium's Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS), which translates as "museum by the river." Actually located within a marina, the 20-story building is designed by Rotterdam-based Neutelings Riedijk Architecten to integrate collections from the National Maritime Museum, the Folklore museum, and the Museum of Ethnology. It also has a unique "Visable Storage" area, showcasing additional objects that would usually be stored out of the public's domain.
Viewed from the marina, galleries clad in red Indian sandstone, embellished with 3,000 aluminum hands (the city's symbol), are stacked upon one another. Inside, appealing glass panels allow for incredible views in all directions. Each of the 10 levels turns 90 degrees from the previous, creating a visual spiral and an opportunity to view the city, river, and adjacent port from every possible angle.
Antwerp-based B-Architecten designed the gallery displays. Drawing from theatre and film, the plan was to provide visitors a complete experience that stimulated multiple senses - for instance, sound would come in the form of music.
Director Carl Depauw says MAS aims to be more than a museum. He envisions it as a place for meeting and celebrating the life of the community and, ultimately, a place that stands out as an example of modern, improved museum experience.
So far, Depauw has seen success, welcoming 1 million visitors within 13 months of opening. If you can't make it in person to the most visited museum in Belgium, take one of the five innovative online tours that make MAS first and foremost a global museum.