Provincial Museum Bruges


Province of West Flanders


Markt 3, Bruges (BE)

Cieo + Fisheye

  • study
  • in progress
  • built

When a Western-Fleming opens the door, it is the backdoor.
Those who know the way are welcome. The others, hawkers and strangers, are left at the front door. However cliché, it does seem to be so: in Western Flanders, an outsider remains an outsider until he discovers the backdoor. Once inside however, an unconditional, unbridled openness and hospitality awaits – dinner and drinks included.

Seeing as we genuinely appreciate the inverted whimsy that typifies this province, we decided to use it as a design tool in the creation of a provincial museum in the Provincial Court of Bruges. The concept of a house is used as a metaphor to understand the existing building in correspondence to its future users: we identify a front door, a hallway, corridors, a living room, the main staircase, the ‘formal’ rooms, bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, the basement and the attic.
To avoid this new Provincial House from becoming the next touristic hotspot, we aim to introduce a deliberate slowness – a have-a-seat-and-relax kind of atmosphere. We do so with a few architectural interventions and an elaborate re-interpretation of the existing Neo-Gothic furniture.