Museum Prinsenhof in Delft is investing DKK 38 million in a new, future-proof design

The preliminary design of the Prinsenhof, including Museum Prinsenhof Delft, is ready. The most important starting point: to create an attractive and modern museum for everyone, while at the same time strengthening the monumental character. In the design, the museum becomes more accessible, sustainable and has a new entrance.

Shutters open and more daylight enters, giving visitors a better view of the monument and the city. Meetings are planned in November to inform the municipality and Delft’s residents.

After a unanimous green light from the city council in July 2021, the design team began the preliminary design of Prinsenhof. In addition to the program of requirements, this also includes the design criteria from the future vision for the Prinsenhof area from 2019. The design team is led by the architectural firm BiermanHenket and also consists of consulting firms Huisman & Van Muijen (installation consulting), Peutz (building physics & fire safety), ABT (constructions) and Bremen Bouwdaviseurs ( calculation of construction costs).

Important milestone

“The preliminary design is a new milestone realization of an attractive and modern museum”, says Frank van Vliet, councilor for culture among other things. “Due to its rich history, the Prinsenhof is one of the most important monuments for Delft and is also a national Top 100 monument. This building tells the story of Delft and the national history. Museum Prinsenhof Delft plays an important role as a cultural trigger and is for many a starting point for a visit to our beautiful city.”

“This preliminary design prepares the museum for the future”, says Janelle Moerman, director Museum Prinsenhof Delft. “With the proposed adjustments, we can continue to fulfill our important function for the city and beyond. Monument and museum unite wonderfully in this preliminary design.”

The power of the monument

“We have tried to use the power of the monument optimally”, says architect Sjoekie de Bijll Nachenius from Bureau BiermanHenket. It already starts at Oude Delft. Without intervening in the monument, you are already curious about the museum there. “If you walk along Oude Delft, you will see through the windows the beautifully lit old ceilings of wooden beams and you will catch a glimpse of the objects exhibited in the museum.”

In other places too, the shutters open and the bulkheads disappear. “Letting daylight into the spaces again creates an experience that does the monument more justice,” says the architect. “Light in and see out. Exactly as it was once intended. Not all places, of course: Not all art can withstand daylight. The places where light is desired and where there is a good view have therefore been carefully selected.”

In the proposed design, the museum will have a new, central entrance in the Prinsentuin, in line with the vision for the future. With this new entrance, visitors can see the monumental complex much better than now. “After the renovation, the route through the garden offers a beautiful view of the beautiful building’s monumental facades. You enter the heart of the complex in a beautiful space that reflects the beauty of the whole.” says the architect.

More accessible

The museum will soon become much more accessible, also for people with a physical disability. A stairwell with lift has been designed towards the facade in the inner garden, which connects all floors of the building. Ramps bridge the remaining small level differences.

To the left of the new entrance, in the Prinsentuin, the connecting corridor from the twentieth century will be demolished and rebuilt, partly reusing the old materials. This is necessary to equalize the current level differences. As an extension of this, the museum café will be built on the Prinsentuin with a terrace overlooking the garden. It will be a beautiful place where Delft residents and other visitors can enjoy the garden and this beautiful monument, even without visiting the museum.

The architects are reluctant to interfere with the monument in their plan. “We only carry out interventions that are really necessary for the museum’s accessibility and smooth functioning and as far as possible in the 20th century building layer. In this way, we keep the older layers intact, which characterize the building’s historic character.”

Better climate

Part of the plan is to improve the indoor climate. The exhibition rooms have a high-quality museum atmosphere. The other areas will have a good living environment. The improved indoor climate guarantees high-quality loan exhibitions in the future.


Another important aspect is the improved durability. The monumental complex is isolated where possible, the installations are made sustainable and sustainable sources are used. For example, the building will be gas-free, and heat pumps will be installed. Materials released during the renovation will be reused as much as possible.


The cost is estimated at €38 million. The municipality of Delft is providing 18 million euros to restore the monument and preserve it for posterity. The Vlek family donates 10 million euros to guarantee the Prinsenhof’s museum function. The remaining funding must come from additional funds and grants.


In November, the city council will receive an explanation of the preliminary design. An information meeting will be held for interested Delfters on Monday 28 November. After the presentation, the design team gets to work on the final design. This is expected to be completed in autumn 2023.

The preliminary design is now limited to the monument containing the museum. The landscape architect will join the design team in late 2022 and start in early 2023 with the preliminary design of the Prinsentuinen and the inner garden. This must become an integrated design together with the plans for the monument.

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