Procedure Architecture competition
Client City Ypres
Surface 6.250 m2
After the renovation of three of the four wings and the opening of the renewed In Flanders Fields Museum in 2012, the city of Ypres plans to make the fourth wing into a museum. The Municipal Museums, which were housed in the Cloth Hall when they were founded in 1828, will be housed here again.
An essential consideration is how this museum should relate to the IFFM on the one hand and to the Cloth Hall with its turbulent history on the other. Unlike the IFFM, the City Museum aims for a certain lightness, with an emphasis on education with a community-building and informative role. This requires a less explicitly designed environment that allows multiple atmospheres.
We strongly believe that the building, which from the outside is perceived as a single entity, already embodies this desired difference. The wing of the former Stedehuis, despite its historic appearance on the outside, was built in the 1960s. Its large halls generate a very different atmosphere from the other halls of the same scale in the building, which were reconstructed before WWII. Whereas the IFFM section is characterised by brick floors, vaults and heavy wooden structures, this space exudes a certain lightness and neutrality.
The final proposal is based on a few simple punctual interventions, which are historically interesting and respect the specific nature of the building to the maximum. The visitor is offered an additional experience of the Cloth Hall, where building and content are strongly related to each other.