Design Museum Gent

New wing of Design Museum Gent to be built on giant toilet roll

Article: David Styles | Image: © Michiel De Cleene i.o.v. Vlaams Bouwmeester

A trio of architecture firms have joined forces in a temporary collaboration to plan a new wing for Design Museum Gent.

The newest architectural addition to Design Museum Gent, DING (Design In Ghent) has been designed to link the institution’s existing buildings and create additional exhibition areas, a shop and a catering concession. It is hoped the new wing can also boost accessibility. The structure will be situated on the nearby derelict Drabstraat site, renowned as the home of a giant roll of toilet paper.

© TRANS, Carmody Groarke en RE-ST

The museum says it hopes it will serve as a participatory “third place”, establishing a public meeting place that will host courses and other activities in the creative industries.

© TRANS, Carmody Groarke en RE-ST

Katrien Laporte, director of Design Museum Gent, stated: “The design team has thoroughly grasped the social, participatory and technological challenges of the museum of the future and provides a good translation of the concepts ‘Third Place’ and ‘Smart Museum’.

“Seeing and being seen are important in this concept: the building both looks out on and can be seen by the city. The design will help us to realise our ambition of becoming a ‘community sense making museum’, a museum that is future-proof and, above all, useful for the entire community.

“A place where visitors can get to know the collection interactively and where aspects such as technology can enhance the experience.”

© TRANS, Carmody Groarke en RE-ST

The implementation of the project will commence in 2021 and, if all goes to plan, it will be completed by the end of 2023. The museum’s existing Jan Breydelstraat entrance area will also be renovated simultaneously.

The City of Ghent has awarded €7.5 million to the scheme, with a further €2.5 million allocated from the Cultural Infrastructure Fund. An additional €250,000 has been contributed by Flanders for the roll-out of a Smart Museum concept at DING.

As part of an open tender competition, architecture firms TRANS architectuur | stedenbouw, Carmody Groarke and RE-ST architectenvennootschap came together to draw up the winning design selected by a jury.