Remodelling Het Valkhof Museum


Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 2013

UNStudio originally designed the Valkhof Museum in Nijmegen in 1995 and the three storey building was completed in 1999. In 2013 the client, the Valkhof Museum, invited UNStudio to undertake the design for the renovation of the museum, with a view to facilitating the growing number of visitors and enhancing the organisational and sustainable qualities of the building.
The main goals of the renovation are to increase spaces for temporary exhibitions, optimise routing and transparency, enhance visitor experience and interior climate and highlight public functions. Essential also to the renovation is the improvement of the installations and building in order to create a more sustainable building. The museum is aiming for a BREEAM NL in use Musea certification.
UNStudio’s design response to the transformation of the museum is based on three key concepts: the strengthening of the central stairs as a ‘big detail’, the improvement of the public programme and spaces and an increase in accessibility through spatial organisation.
In the remodelling of the museum, a generous entrance hall and a multifunctional stairway form the heart of the building, with the café and museum shop additionally acting as key components and enhancing the public qualities of the museum.
The large multifunctional stairway forms the main organisational element in the design and is optimised in direct relation to the reorganisation of the programmes and spaces in order to improve routing and connectivity. The broad continuous staircase provides access to the first floor and a direct connection from the entrance lobby to the exhibition spaces in the basement level. The addition of seating areas and podia along the stairs creates a central meeting area within the lobby which can also be used for presentations and events.


Client: Museum Het Valkhof
Location: Kelfkensbos 59, 6511 TB Nijmegen
Building surface: 7,637 m2
Building volume: 39,582 m2
Building site: 3,023 m2
Programme: Museum for Archeology, historical and modern art with multifunctional ground floor with a cafe, museum shop, event space, small auditorium, educational facilities and office spaces.
Status: Construction is planned for 2015.


UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Harm Wassink with Misja van Veen and Tina Kortmann, Daniel Vlasveld, René Toet, Min Zhang

ABT: Structure
Kuipers: Installations
DGMR: Fire safety and acoustics
Stolwijk: Security