The Kunshal Rotterdam is a museum dedicated to contemporary art and design and one of the most renowned cultural institutions in The Netherlands.
Opened in 1992, the Kunsthal Rotterdam is housed in a building, designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with Japanese one Fuminori Hoshino, widely appreciated for the innovative use of materials and for the quality of its exhibition spaces. Koolhaas combined “classic” materials typically adopted in museums such as marble and wood with more alternative and humble ones such as plastics, bare concrete, galvanized steel, and rough timber, so to give each space a distinct character.
Natural light enters the building filtered by a series of different layers, alternating transparent and opaque materials to create surprising and flexible spaces for different types of exhibitions.
Kunsthal Rotterdam, exterior view, photo Jeroen Musch
Overall, the Kunsthal, which includes seven exhibition galleries, is a rather simple building: a large box with a square footprint, and a thin tower that supports the museum logo and provides natural cooling and ventilation.
Since all facades are different from one another and they do not have a hierarchy, the building looks always different when seen from different points of view, sometimes it is more transparent and open sometimes more opaque and introverted, thus reflecting the manifold character of the exhibitions it accommodates, somehow.
Exterior view with the thin tower, photo Jeroen Musch
What to see at the Kunsthal
Since it does not have a permanent collection, Kunsthal’s offer is based on a dynamic program of events that includes about twenty temporary exhibitions per year and provides a multifaceted overview of contemporary culture by covering various fields: from the work of modern and contemporary art masters to photography, from fashion to design and visual arts.
Activities and public services
Along with exhibitions, the Kunsthal organizes workshops, held in its Kunsthal LAB, and guided tours. The museum building includes a cafe, a shop, and an auditorium for conferences, live performances, and screenings. The museum is fully accessible to people with disabilities.
The auditorium, photo Jeroen Musch
Interior view of one of the exhibition spaces of the museum
The museum shop, photo Ossip van Duivenbode
Cover image: exterior view from Westzeedijk road, photo Jeroen Musch
All images courtesy of Kunsthal Rotterdam.
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Rem Koolhaas – OMA / AMO
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