David Kohn Architects to expand Belgium contemporary art museum

Images courtesy of David Kohn Architects
UK studio David Kohn Architects, Belgium’s noAarchitecten and Turkey’s Asli Çiçek have won an international design competition for a €90m renovation for the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium.

The museum, also known as SMAK (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst), opened in 1999 in central Ghent’s 1949 Casino building, with a collection focusing on art created after 1945, containing works by Anthony Caro, Francis Bacon and Henri Matisse.

The team has reconfigured the museum’s surrounding buildings to create a 20,000-sq-m space, similar in size to London’s Tate Modern.

The Floraliënhal, a glass and steel structure originally built for the 1913 World Fair, will be repurposed into the main entrance to the museum.

Two concrete and brick structures at either end of the Floraliënhal will be used as exhibition space, with their materials reused alongside new additions.

The design integrates the surrounding Citadelpark, Ghent’s largest park, into the project, using the currently overgrown 1856 Citadel Gate as an entrance, while adding a new tower.

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