Museum De Lakenhal has since 1874 been the Museum of Art, Crafts and History of the city of Leiden and it is located in the monumental ‘Laecken-Halle’ from 1641 which was built in 1641 by city architect Arent Van’s-Gravesande. The museum consists of a rich palette of building sections from various periods, each with its own basic tone and characteristic. The starting point for the restoration and extension of the complex is the application of a balance between these layers of time. It is based on the principle of ‘unity in diversity’ to spatially improve the orientation and art experience.
One of the most important modifications in the heart of the ensemble is the release of the former ‘Achterplaets’. This exterior space is equipped with a glass canopy and is now the central orientation area of the museum. From here the different building parts are visible and accessible. Traces of almost 375 years of construction history have not been erased, but shown appropriately. On the west side of the existing complex a new building volume has been added that extends telescopically between the Oude Singel and the Lammermarkt. On the ground floor there is space for varying exhibition halls, the Museum café and the expedition. At the Lammermarkt, the new buildings are developing into a broad-shouldered support for offices and studios.
With a sophisticated restoration, expansion and interior design, the building, its collection and many storylines have been brought to synthesis. The special architectural history has been made tangible and legible, so that the museum shows itself as a detailed sampling of time layers