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Renovation Museum Arnhem

Museum Arnhem temporarily closed its doors in 2017 for a large-scale renovation. The museum was partially demolished, partially renovated and new construction took place. The new building involved one above-ground level and two underground levels (three in total). ABT provided the implementation design for the museum's structure and foundation.
Client Benthem Crouwel
Completion time 2017-2022
Market Art and culture
In collaboration with Benthem Crouwel
Location Arnhem

Suspended wing over the Rhine valley

A special feature of the new building is the new 550 m2 wing suspended over the Rhine Valley. It was designed by Benthem Crouwels Architects. There was initially a question as to whether this was possible at all. Would the lateral moraine bear the construction? Was it justified to build on it?

Study of the lateral moraine

In the preliminary project, ABT did a study of how the museum could suspend over the ridge. The moraine had to be kept covered with vegetation, in order for it not to erode. Arnhem municipality asked ABT to provide support on whether you could build on the lateral moraine. Our study showed that this could be done, however, there were matters to be taken into account.

Schetsen Museum Arnhem © Niki Loonen
Outlines Museum Arnhem © Niki Loonen

Design optimization of basement and foundation

The project was delayed several years ago as Museum Arnhem could not find a contractor to complete the work within the original budget. In the new tender (with a new budget), Rots Bouw was granted the project.

ABT was then asked by contractor Rots Bouw to assist in optimizing the design of the basement and foundation. For this, ABT designed an alternative foundation that was significantly faster to build than the original design.

Not a hundred, but thirty piles

The entire foundation was to be on piles, one hundred of them, but calculations showed that only the edge needed to be on piles. It required thirty piles. Therefore, a pile slab foundation was chosen instead of a foundation on piles. This is more efficient, you need less material which makes the project more sustainable.

Sliding method

Initially, ABT was to produce only the implementation design for the basement. ABT consultant Jan-Willem ten Have was involved in this. After ABT created the execution design, contractor Rots Bouw devised a new construction method for the new wing. A unique sliding method. This is where ABT’s knowledge of infrastructure was used. ABT’s knowledge of concrete came in handy when advising on the museum’s new aesthetic floor.




In 2022, the renovation was complete and the museum’s festive opening was carried out by Arnhem Mayor Ahmed Marcouch. That year, the museum was awarded the national Steel Award in the nonresidential construction category.

Images: © Rots Bouw en © Rolf Hensel