The decision of the museum directors to place the museum on the global map of important museums with a new extension and at the same time place the whole new collection underground led to our concept of a glass plinth which extends into the park. All new underground museum spaces get a glass roof and ceiling, allowing for filtered daylight in the exhibition spaces, while also being a clear ‘marker’ in the landscape. These walkable glass surfaces extend in the courtyards of the museum thus clearly linking old and new. It creates a new continuity between the existing building, the new extension and the landscape. The museum not only contains Art but also at the same time becomes “LandArt” itself.
By almost completely placing the extension underground, the existing monumental museum buildings are left intact while at the same time being positioned in a beautiful contrast with the glass extensions as they slip out under the museum into the adjacent park. Here the glass surfaces fold up out of the ground to form a sculptural double height entrance lobby and a great new presence for the museum in the city of Assen. The new museum square becomes a cultural and social gathering space where new activities can be planned. The museum, once completely internal, now turns inside out as it shows its collection in glimpses through glass shards. Large recessed courtyards pull natural light and green into the museum, thus constantly throwing the boundary between museum and garden in crisis.