The iconic building by Rem Koolhaas is a magnet for tourists. Therefore, it is our ambition to use and promote the building in a more intensive way.
Photo © Delfino Sisto Legnani & Marco Cappelletti
Stage two of the renovation
Following the 2016 renovations of the general staff rooms on the ground floor – funded by the Kunsthal itself –, there are now plans for a second phase of the office renovations. The Kunsthal believes that the city of Rotterdam, as the proprietor of the building, is partially responsible for making sure the office spaces in this semi-public institution exceed the minimal requirements. The level of maintenance for the exhibition spaces is currently attuned to the NEN 3 standard that is usually followed by the city. Although this level of maintenance is certainly sufficient for office spaces, it is hardly adequate for a museum space where aesthetics play an important role. In the Kunsthal ‘s opinion, the maintenance level of the exhibition spaces should therefore be revised and adjusted.
The management and the members of the Supervisory Board have discussed these issues with the city a number of times over the past few years. In accordance with the agreements made, the Kunsthal will now hand in an overall proposal addressing all the topics mentioned above. We assume that the city and the consortium will come up with an integrated plan of action and realization of that plan in 2018.
Furthermore, the accessibility outside the building needs to be improved and the visibility of the signposting in the Museum Park garage as well as in and towards the Museum Park has to be improved. Especially as the situation will become much more complex and confusing in the near future, when there will be two construction sides next to each other on the north side of the park.
The outdoor terrace next to the Kunsthal Café is a point of concern. As, among other things, the tree roots are growing upwards, its rocky surface is becoming increasingly difficult to access for people with mobility problems or disabled people. With an expected growing number of visitors during the summer months, these problems will only increase. The ground surface needs to be structurally renovated and levelled.
Auditorium and Store
Use of the Auditorium and the KunsthalLAB by external parties has been increasing. We consider this to be a welcome development. In order to optimally exploit these spaces, for our own programming as well as for third party use, we need to structurally modernise the audio visual equipment in particular. In 2017, the Kunsthal started searching for funding and has already received the first confirmation(s). We expect to be able to implement these modernisations in 2018.
The store is experiencing the limitations of the available space. Although a full reorganisation of the entrance area might seem complicated and expensive at first glance, this option will be examined in more depth in 2018. In 2017, together with OMA, we explored the possibilities for adjusting the current store fixtures in such a way that it will lead to more display room. More display room is a first requirement for reaching a higher turnover with the same level of staff. In our investment budget 2018 we have included a sum for realizing these adjustments.
Our catering division can also look back on a successful year. However, the year would probably have been even better if we had received the permit for extending the outdoor terrace earlier. The permit was applied for in 2016 and, only after prolonged insistence, was granted at the end of 2017. Given our summer programming, we are happy that we will now be able to optimally use the terrace in 2018.
The previous should also be considered in the broader perspective of the Museum Park and the intended closure of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.