Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp

Architect: Kaan Architecten (NL) 
Client: Departement Cultuur, Jeugd, Sport en Media, Stafdienst Infrastructuur, Fonds Culturele infrastructuur (FoCI) 
Advisors: Royal Haskoning DHV (techniques, stability), Architectenbureau Fritz (restauration) Location: Antwerp    
Timing: 2004 –  2020    
Status phase 1: realized in 2014
Surface phase 2: 26.500 m²
Status phase 2: realised in 2020
Status façade and offices: realised in 2022

© Render: Kaan Architecten
© Sarah Blee
© Images roof dome Artes

Project Support I Collaboration
Technical advice I EPB & Safety coordination

Master plan for the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA). 

Winner of the European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention and International Architecture Award 2022.

Project to adapt, restore and upgrade the protected museum building dating from the late 19th century, situated in the centre of a 19th century city quarter 'The South.' The building needs to be converted into a museum that meets the contemporary needs for museum management.

Phase 1

  • renovation, demolition, asbestos removal, repair work

Phase 2

  • renovation of the 19th-century museum 
  • extension of the building with new museum rooms within the perimeter of the existing building 

Vertical museum
The big challenge in this project was to fit in a new contemporary museum without losing the 19th-century concept. The extension, called the vertical museum, was inserted into the old patios of the building. A successful fusion of two completely different museum worlds that gives the museum a modest and at the same time spectacular new élan.

Roof domes
198 triangular symmetrical skylights were installed on the roof of the museum, reflecting the northern light along the white walls down to the ground floor, thus providing daylight to the entire new building.  

Renovation of the façade and offices
In 2018, it was decided to include the renovation of the façade and offices, as well as the landscaping of the garden, in the master plan. 

Bureau Bouwtechniek is responsible for the complete construction-technical support of Kaan architects from the tendering phase. BB is responsible for technical assistance during the design process, the layout of the implementation plans, the blueprint of constructional specifications and estimates. BB leads the execution. Bureau Bouwtechniek is also the EPB reporter.

Bureau Bouwtechiek has been appointed by the client as safety coordinator for both the renovation and the new building and all sub-projects, including the scenography and the gold decoration.

Team BB: arch. Barbara Arts, arch. Nadja Van Houten, arch. Bert Van den Bergh, Ken Coolsaet, ir. arch. Robbe Verelst