On Monday 26 May 2008, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen began renovating the entrance area. It will be transformed into a contemporary meeting point for knowledge and culture, a public plaza with several functions that will be accessible from the inner courtyard. It will be open to all, free of charge.
The new public plaza will cover the entire ground floor of the exhibition building designed by architect Bodon, as well as the 2003 extension designed by architects Robbrecht and Daem. Most of the original transparency of Bodon’s design will be restored, and the contact with the street, the inner courtyard and the museum park re-established. The plaza will accommodate a new museum shop and a media café. Moreover, the reception facilities will be redesigned. The public plaza will also provide space for the art-historical library, a brand-new print room and storage space. Jurgen Bey is designing the museum’s educational centre.
Six designers, most of them from Rotterdam, have set up an occasional cooperation to manage the design work on the public square: Ted Noten, Jurgen Bey, Frank Bruggeman, Wieki Somers, Simon Heijdens and Bertjan Pot. For the occasion, they have named themselves the Haunting Dogs Full of Grace.
Marieke van Diemen is designing the new print room. The construction work will be supervised by ToornendPartners from Haarlem; the supervising architects are Molenaar and Van Winden Architecten from Delft.
The new entrance area will be completed in September and will open to the public on Saturday 27 September. During construction work, access to the museum is through the original entrance below the tower.