The Board of the Cincinnati Art Museum today announced the selection of Neutelings Riedijk Architects as the architecture firm that will redesign the Museum's multi-phase campus renovation and expansion in the city's Eden Park. Neutelings Riedijk is internationally known for its architectural design projects; the Cincinnati Art Museum project is the firm's first project in the United States.
Based in Rotterdam, Neutelings Riedijk is recognized for its demonstrated ability to respond with exceptional sensitivity and ingenuity to historic buildings, their surroundings, and complex existing layouts. Their recent projects include the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (2006), the STUK Performing Arts Center in Belgium (2002), and several distinguished social housing and campus buildings around the world.
The Cincinnati Art Museum was founded in 1881, and during its 126-year-history has grown from a single building to a complex of seven individual, interconnected structures. These various wings were designed by a series of architects in a variety of styles. Neutelings Riedijk will work with the Cincinnati Art Museum to develop a master architectural design for the institution that will integrate the disparate structures into a unified, cohesive whole and will combine a thoughtful and liberating reuse of the Museum's existing spaces with an innovative expansion.
"We were impressed with Neutelings Riedijk's inventive ideas, which will allow us to intelligently reuse space and spectacularly reimagine our facility," said Aaron Betsky, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum. "The project will enable the Museum to present more of the extraordinary works in our collection, fulfill our educational mission, and better serve our community and travelers to the region."
When completed, the new Cincinnati Art Museum will provide visitors with a more intuitive, welcoming, and engaging experience and path through the Museum and will allow for significantly more efficient operational systems. The Museum will be able to present more of its outstanding collection, and will feature increased space for special exhibitions, and enhanced facilities for public programming and education activities.
Although the master design is in its early stages with Neutelings Riedijk, and will continue to progress over the coming months, the Art Museum anticipates the project will add a minimum of 50,000 square feet of new construction, and remodel nearly all of the existing buildings, except those that have been recently renovated. The project budget, which will include funds both to complete renovation and construction and to increase the Museum's endowment, will be developed as planning progresses.
The project will be completed in phases, with the first phase focused on the renovation of the Art Academy Building and innovative re-use of the Museum's existing spaces. This will include restoring former galleries-now housing administrative functions-to exhibition spaces and spaces for public and educational programming. Subsequent phases of the project will include new construction. The new design will be unveiled in early 2008, when work on the renovation and re-use phase of the project is scheduled to begin.
"Milestones such as the renovation of the Asian galleries and the soon to be renovated antiquities gallery, as well as free admission, have already demonstrated the Art Museum's commitment to fulfilling our community's needs and desires," said Larry Sheakley, president of the board of trustees of the Cincinnati Art Museum. "Now, Neutelings Riedijk will help us continue to progress, and the entire board is excited to be part of a project that will contribute so much to the advancement of Cincinnati's arts community nationally and internationally."
Neutelings Riedijk's other projects include The City Museum of Antwerp in Belgium featuring a design that leads visitors to the top of the building in a journey through the history of Antwerp and panoramic views of the city. The firm is also in the midst of completing a strong icon for the Northern gate to Paris, the Peripherique at Porte de la Villette, which will feature a landmark hotel and shopping center. Among Neutelings Riedijk's other recent projects are the opera house Kolizej Centre in Ljubljana (Slovenia), the Eemhuis Culture Centre in Amersfoort (Netherlands), and the Holland Casino in Utrecht (Netherlands).