American Society of Landscape Architects

  2004 ASLA Professional Awards

Design Award of Merit

Rijksmuseum Twente (National Museum), Enschede, The Netherlands
Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Clients: Rijksgebouwendienst (Government Building Agency) and Rijksmuseum Twente

Simple elegance creates effective solution. . .
           2004 Professional Awards Jury Comments

Conceptually, this space is the mediator between the old and the new. The plan had to meet with accessibility requirements due to the raised level of the buildings at the site. Surrounded by a dark building, the courtyard had to become a bright place: a garden that would provide a restful spot in the middle of the museum. The director of the museum did not want a sculpture garden, and although occasionally a statue might find its place there, the visitors' attention is directed to the objects within the museum. On a warm summer day, the Rijksmuseum courtyard and café are popular destinations for museum visitors and locals. In the drab days of winter, the courtyard retreats to become more a visual amenity to be viewed from the café and from the museum ambulatories that surround it.


The new pavilion includes a café that intrudes upon the sanctity of the garden court. A bosk of Koelreuteria (Golden Rain tree) dominates the southeast corner of the courtyard and offers a soft counterpoint to the dark building. (Photo: Lodewijk Baljon)

The difference in elevation between the museum and the courtyard is used to create a folded "landscape." The series of ramped planes allow sunny areas entered from several point in the courtyard. (Photo: Lodewijk Baljon)

The rhomboidal pool intermediates between the café building and the field of planes, using reflections to virtually extend the inclined facade while capturing clouds and skies from above. (Photo: Rik Klein Gotink)

Gravel planes in two tints stretch over the whole courtyard and connect the old building of the Rijksmuseum with the new café. (Photo: Lodewijk Baljon)

The changes in museum-floor levels that give access to the court are used to create a folded "landscsape." (Photo: Rik Klein Gotink)

The museum galeries form the background for the courtyard, yet the tuin also represents the center around which tour of the museum leads. (Photo: Lodewijk Baljon)

The pattern of Koelreuterias interfere with the lines of the planes. The perception of the line play constantly changes as one overlooks the courtyard. (Photo: Rik Klein Gotink)

The gravel planes executed in two tints of grey continuously interweave with one another. In shape and in slope they complement the leaning geometries of the new café. (Photo: Lodewijk Baljon)

Lines of the building and the plains meet each other and continue. The slopes of the gravel plains facilitate handicap access. (Photo: Rik Klein Gotink)

Nearly half of the courtyard is covered with a light foliage of 27 koelreuterias. Their fine leaves are for shade and beauty from spring to fall. (Photo: Rik Klein Gotink)

Galvanized steel strips form the edges of the plains. The steel rims lean slightly. As a result the plains seem to float and create a lightness in contrast to the weight of the old building. (Photo: Lodewijk Baljon)
The Koelreuterias form a leafy, airy canopy over half the garden and offer a soft counterpart to the dark masonry wall surfaces. (Photo: Rik Klein Gotink)
The pattern of lines and the play with colors can be experienced not only from the courtyard but also from the inside of the adjacent buildings. (Photo: Lodewijk Baljon)


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