The Netherlands Architectural Institute [NAI] in Rotterdam is undergoing a major building renovation and the director, Ole Bouman, wants to transform it from a knowledge institute into a museum. He approached Archi-Tectonics to design a total view for the complete ground floor, including the entrance, the lobby, restaurant, auditorium, and terrace. Rem Koolhaas would then design the exhibit hall for the in-house collection.
The director's concept is based on achieving the following features; hospitable, inspiring, concerned competent and optimistic. His target groups are architects, culture consumers, adolescents, and tourists. Also important is that the restaurant can function independently from the museum itself. Our design concept creates a strong base where spaces remain open but zones are created through color and texture definition. The space is defined by areas of “pantone shades of gray”, thus allowing the softer gray of the restaurant to blend into the whites of the entry area. Furniture by Piet Boon, Moooi and Moroso and carpets by Nani Maquina complete the whole. A large sculpture by Madeleine Berkhemer creates soft light in the bar area of the restaurant.
The restaurant, through the double height curtainwall, extends outside where a large terrace doubles the restaurant’s capacity in the summer. Here we find islands for relaxed and active seating, separated by green areas. The wood terrace floor extends inside to blur the in and outside. As the terrace hovers over the reflection pond, low lighting is introduced to create intimacy on the terrace in the evening and to light the water from below.