Vertical museum


A master plan to renovate and extend the museum.

With their master plan for the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Claus and Kaan Architects intend first and foremost to remedy the process of fragmentation that has unfolded in the museum over many years. Moreover, not only will the existing 19th-century museum building be renovated, but it will also be extended. The purpose is to embrace contemporary museum philosophies and aspirations without doing injustice to the original 19th-century concept.


The architects have chosen to integrate a new, contemporary museum design into the old building by converting the previously unused inner shafts and roof. The extension will be invisible from the outside, but all the more striking as the visitor enters the building. According to Dikkie Scipio of Claus and Kaan Architects, the envisaged ‘vertical museum’ will be suitable for both modest and monumental presentations. It will provide an equally bold setting as the 19th-century building, but without the architecture imposing itself on the art. This way, two entirely different museum universes will exist along and inside each other, as the KMSKA of the 21st century continues to present itself in a 19th-century monument, as befits the collection. 


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