Barozzi Veiga to Renovate Jewish Museum of Belgium

John Hill
5. November 2020
Visualization: Barozzi Veiga

The team of Barozzi Veiga, Tab Architects, and Barbara Van Der Wee Architects has won a competition to renovate the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels' Sablon district.

The Jewish Museum of Belgium first opened its doors in 1990, then on rue de Stalingrad, and then in 2002 it moved to its current home at 21 rue des Minimes. In 2018, the museum determined it needed to renovate and expand, launching a competition that solicited 28 responses and was shortlisted to five candidates before last weeks's announcement (PDF link) of the winning team.

Visualization: Barozzi Veiga

Ghent's Tab Architects is collaborating with Barcelona's Barozzi Veiga and restoration architect Barbara Van Der Wee to overhaul the existing building: creating new temporary and permanent exhibition spaces, inserting a ground-floor bookshop and cafe, and adding a belvedere with a multipurpose space for 250 people next to a loggia overlooking the Palace of Justice and the Marolles. The design will retain the existing building's neoclassical facade.

Visualization: Barozzi Veiga

Although the rooftop expansion gives the museum more visual prominence in its immediate vicinity, the brief was predicated mainly on bringing the old building up to current museum and sustainability standards. According to The Brussels Times, the brief indicated the existing building "lacks the qualities to fully assume the role of a museum... it is not always possible to properly preserve the objects presented to the public (archives, textiles, precious books, works of art, Judaica, and so on)."

Visualization: Barozzi Veiga

Per the museum's website, the design team will work with scenographer Christophe Gaeta on the layout of the exhibition, while the architects are also to propose an artist who would create an artwork integral to the museum, as required in public buildings there. The museum is indicating a construction start next year and an anticipated opening in 2024.

Visualization: Barozzi Veiga

Visit Barozzi Veiga's profile to learn more about the winning design.

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