After a two-year renovation, the Mauritshuis is reopening. The renovated Mauritshuis is now twice as large, with an underground expansion into the building on the other side of the street. This former corner property of Society de Witte is now called the Royal Dutch Shell Wing. Still, little about the character of the museum will change. The appearance and unique intimate atmosphere are still intact, thanks to the design of Hans van Heeswijk architects.
The Mauritshuis is proud to have completed the complex construction project on time and within the available means. The construction of the underground link between the two buildings, which entailed lowering the foundation of the new wing, was a tour de force on its own. The cramped building site and the location, right next to the Prime Minister's tower, proved to be a challenge to the contractors. The seventeenth-century house, where the vast collection is presented, has also been modernised: the windows, the climate installation and the lighting have been replaced and the interior has been redecorated. The old building once again has a fresh appearance, a subtle ‘face lift’. The museum has remained faithful to its historic, intimate atmosphere. The largest part of the collection is back to its previous location; it will offer a happy sense of ‘home’ to our faithful repeat visitors.
One big change is the relocation of the main entrance to the forecourt. Visitors descend via the stairs or lift into a light-filled foyer, where they can find ticketing and audio tours. The new wing will house the exhibition space, the brasserie, and the museum shop. It will also accommodate the educational Art Workshop, a library and an auditorium.