The Louwman Museum by Michael Graves
& Associates

| 24 comments

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

American studio Michael Graves & Associates have completed a new building to house over 230 cars of the Dutch national automobile museum in the Hague.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

The new home for the Louwman Museum features peaked roofs and dormer windows in sympathy with traditional architecture in the area and attempts to resemble a traditional carriage house.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

The facade is made of basket weave-patterned brickwork with bluestone details and a slate roof.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

The building comprises an auditorium, restaurant, workshops, conference facilities and exhibition spaces.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

The 185,000 square-foot building houses the largest collection of automotive art in the world.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

Here's some more information from the architects:


National Automobile Museum, designed by Michael Graves & Associates, opens in the Netherlands

Building’s Understated Elegance Gives Center Stage to Remarkable Collection

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – Michael Graves & Associates, architects of more than 350 major buildings around the world, have just finished work on The Louwman Collection, the National Automobile Museum of the Netherlands. The project was designed by MGA Principal and Studio Head Gary Lapera, AIA.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

Speaking of the firm’s interest in museum design, Founding Principal Michael Graves remarks, “For an architect, museums are certainly among the most gratifying commissions one can receive—they give you a chance to contribute to cultural history and to the public’s shared experience of that history. We’ve been fortunate to have designed a variety of museums over the years.” Says Gary Lapera, “In designing this particular museum, we were greatly influenced by the character of the historical and physical context, and endeavored to give this institution a presence with a unique sense of place.”

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

The 185,000-square-foot building contains temporary and permanent exhibition galleries, a reception hall, conference facilities, an auditorium, food service facilities, and workshops for conservation and repair of cars. A gift to the people of the Netherlands, the Louwman Collection is a public showcase of selections from collector Evert Louwman’s extraordinary vintage automobile collection. In addition, the National Automobile Museum of the Netherlands is home to the world’s largest collection of automotive art.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

The museum’s simple design vocabulary and massing compliment its historic surroundings: located on a sensitive site near the Queen’s Palace in beautiful Den Haag. Steeply sloped peaked roofs and dormers, characteristic of traditional Dutch architecture, give the building’s exterior the visual aspect of a typical pre-modern carriage house, while breaking down the scale of the overall composition to be sympathetic to a nearby residential district.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

The brickwork of the facades, laid in a basket-weave pattern interspersed with projecting bricks, creates textural interest within the otherwise planar surfaces, and is complemented by bluestone detailing and slate roofs. Inside, the Great Hall—a large barrel-vaulted space—creates an east-west spine through the building, separating the double-height volume of the exhibit area from the lower-scaled U-shaped public spaces that define the entry court.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

To the rear of the site, a small octagonal pavilion used as a special gallery is located along the axis of an existing allée of trees in Haagsche Bos park. A quiet, contemplative space well suited to its site, the pavilion gracefully exerts a formal but tranquil presence on its serene setting.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

About Michael Graves & Associates

Michael Graves & Associates has been in the forefront of architecture and design since AIA Gold Medalist Michael Graves founded his practice in 1964. Today, the practice comprises two firms run by 8 Principals.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

Michael Graves & Associates (MGA) provides planning, architecture and interior design services, and Michael Graves Design Group (MGDG) specializes in product design, graphics and branding. MGA has designed many master plans and the architecture and interiors of over 350 buildings worldwide, including hotels and resorts, restaurants, retail stores, civic and cultural projects, office buildings, healthcare, residences and a wide variety of academic facilities.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

MGDG has designed and brought to market over 2,000 products for clients such as Target, Alessi, Stryker and Disney. Graves and the firms have received over 200 awards for design excellence. With our unique, highly integrated multidisciplinary practice, the Michael Graves Companies offer strategic advantages to clients worldwide.

National Automobile Museum by Michael Graves & Associates

Click for larger image


See also:

.

Autostella by
Supermachine Studio
Porsche Museum by
Delugan Meissl
Automobile Museum by 3GATTI Architecture Studio
| 24 comments

Posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 6:37 pm by Catherine Warmann. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • pnhcohen

    Well, in my backyard. Time for a visit! Thanks for the post!

  • Simon

    What a shocking looking building, i hoped post modernism had died.
    Good looking cars though.

  • http://www.georgehollander.com George

    Always liked Mr. Graves work.

    He should have gotten the Whitney Museum in the eighties. That was also a great design!

  • jack

    The eighties just called, they want their post-modernism back.

  • http://www.francoisbeydoun.com French1st

    Typically Dutch, I like it!

  • aldorado

    Can somebody tell this guy it's 2010..

  • Simon

    What a shocking looking building, i hoped post modernism had died.

    Loving the cars though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erik.vanerne Erik Van Erne

    Great, here a short video of Queen Beatrix Opening the Louwman Museum http://bit.ly/cNQIbm

  • http://www.lightfield.us ardi

    it's a dead architecture…though it looks a bit better on paper because of all sort of cultural references it makes

  • abdelatif

    With all this modern formalism that urges new gestures, it is nice to see an elegant, relaxing and recognizable building. Postmodern demontration.

  • mmm

    This building suffers from a peculiar smallness. I've seen it published several times now, and the more I see it the less I like it. One could say its modern conservatism fit The Hague, but even then, the building is extraordinarily unimpressive.

  • steef

    "in sympathy with traditional architecture in the area"

    what the hell does this mean?

    it is not in any way reminiscent of anything built in brick in the area..

    "With all this modern formalism that urges new gestures, it is nice to see an elegant, relaxing and recognizable building"

    recognizable? recognizable as what? as an alice in wonderland looking miniature castle?

  • Simon

    Oh no… what a dogs dinner this is.
    Post Modernism died a long time ago…and there was a reason for that.

  • a.l

    Hello Aldo Rossi.

  • michelsmag

    I can't believe this, Dutch architecture has produced great stuff and now this, very strange. Graves should retire now

  • damn

    Is anyone else thinking horrendous pastiche mansion "recognisable" from the mtv show cribs? It's even got the array of shiny cars!

  • Mark

    Hideously fantastical.

  • )eroen

    Well, fits in perfectly with the current Dutch social climate:
    stale and conservative!

  • e1o27

    to show properly designed once utterly modern exhibits in such an appologetic house is dumb. and what's (not) going on internally?? can't see any interesting spaces here

  • lucas

    I guess everyone expected a sharp box or a blob… yeah.
    I like this building. I fits its contents, is well proportioned and it will age well.

    • gab xiao

      it's an already outdated building. at their time, the cars displayed here were the epithom of speed, mobility and progress – symbols that can hardly be associated with a building that looks like an antique dolls' house.

      Big shame on clients and investors who waste their money on such an obsolete architect…

    • Steef

      No, I didn't.
      But the architect wants to convey an unique sense of place.
      I wouldn't have guessed this is a building in NL though.

      It is a very shallow representation of a very rich local history of brick buildings.
      This American perception of Dutch local tradition is nothing short of shameful.

  • felix

    the entrance makes me gag it clashes so badly with the rest of the front facade

    I don't mind the rest of the exterior, although agree it's small

    the real failure is how badly it displays the cars. they look shoved in there. cars are about space and speed, keeping them in a box is humiliating. graves should have learnt something from real automobile architecture: car showrooms

  • H-J

    Well, the majority of Dutch citizens like the style from this period (the bricks, thatched roofs etc. from the 1930’s, it has become a style on it’s own, the Kriers are immensely popular, why shouldn’t museums reflect this retro-trend as the residential architecture is doing for years already. Despite all the OMA’s, MVRDV’s UNStudio’s etc. the Dutch are a conservative bunch, unfortunately…