Together with Bébouw Midreth, for the Mauritshuis Museum Volker Staal en Funderingen (both part of VolkerWessels) has realised an extension of the entire underground shell, consisting of the underground foundations, the construction pits and the building shell. This is the underground connection between the museum's existing premises in the Mauritshuis, including the basement, and the premises at Plein 26.
The Mauritshuis' Royal Cabinet of Paintings in The Hague has been substantially extended, by connecting the adjacent building at Plein 26 to the existing city palace by means of an underground foyer. The extension is part of the master plan, 'Mauritshuis Building for the Future'. The entire renovation of the 17th-century city palace is also part of the assignment.
The underground foyer is 6 metres below street level, but as daylight enters from all sides, the space has a very light and open aspect. The foyer can be entered from the forecourt by elevator or stairs. This gives visitors the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their route. In addition to new exhibition halls, a reading room and educational rooms, the current museum and facility functions (such as the entrance, shop, restaurant and cloakroom) are being enlarged and adapted to the requirements and wishes of the 21st century.
The Mauritshuis Royal Cabinet of Paintings houses a world-renowned art collection. The core of the collection comprises Dutch paintings from the 17th century, the Golden Age. These include top works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Jan Stein and Frans Hals.
'Mauritshuis Building for the Future' is an ambitious expansion project, aimed at creating a museum that meets the requirements and wishes of the 21st century. An underground foyer will connect the museum with the premises across the road at Plein 26. The surface area will be doubled, providing more room for art, exhibitions, education and events. The entrance will be off the forecourt, lending the Mauritshuis an appearance that matches its international allure.
The 'Mauritshuis Building for the Future' expansion project is partly being made possible by corporate sponsor Shell Nederland BV, the BankGiro lottery, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences and the European Union's programme, Chances for West.
The extension of the underground foyer of Mauritshuis has been awarded as the Dutch Foundation project of the year 2014.
The project is also one of the five nominated projects of the "Schreudersprijs 2013 for Subterranean Building".