The most drastic part of the alteration was the renovation and covering of the courtyard, which was installed between the two premises at Vrijthof 18 and Papenstraat 2. The project started by pulling down the former Paviljoen (Pavilion; built in 1973), the connecting gallery and a number of storerooms. A photo gallery of the alteration and renovation was added to the website each month in order to follow up the progress.
By extending the museum, the former back part of the house situated at the Papenstraat was incorporated into the museum and the space between both listed buildings was covered and partially built over. As a result, the museum exhibition rooms were tripled. Moreover, more room was created for new facilities such as a museum shop, a museum café (Grand Café Maastricht Soiron) and a small auditorium and adjoining conference room. Part of the covered courtyard can also be used (whether or not combined with the Grand Café) for activities unrelated to the museum such as receptions and dinners, but also for museum-related activities such as concerts and readings.
The structure of both listed buildings was not altered for museum visitor routing, but two windows were converted into doors in both buildings on the first floor in order to make a connection. A lift was installed at the covered courtyard, which makes the first floor accessible to the disabled.
The covering of the courtyard is made of foiltec, a transparent synthetic material turned into air cushions. This required only a light steel construction, which is nevertheless remarkably strong and isolating. The covering keeps the historical courtyard as translucent as possible and at the same time creates a pleasant inside climate.
October 2009 > Preparations
Even though the project’s finance had not been arranged completely, the preparations started in October 1 2010, as there would have been too much delay otherwise.
April 2010 > Preparation master plan
In April 2010, the architectural schemes were completed by SATIJNplus Architects (Born), the legal proceedings for receiving all necessary permits were started, and the specifications for constructions and installations were worked out. Next to that, Kinkorn (Tilburg) finished the museum’s layout masterplan.
June 2010 > Start of PLVS OVLTRE fund-raising campaign
The PLVS OVLTRE fund-raising campaign took off on Monday 14 June with the festive meeting at Sint-Janskerk and a reception at the Vrijthof Square. This campaign brought in the last million.
October 2010 > Closing the museum
The old museum could be visited for the last time on Sunday October 24 2010. From 25 November onwards, the collection was packed up and transferred to a temporary storage accommodation.December 2010 > ContractingThe work was contracted out in December 2010. BAM Schrale & Schakel was commissioned to take care of the structural work, SPIE to carry out all electrical installations, Imtech to carry out all mechanical installations, Herum to do all the painting and Kone to install the lift cage.
Early 2011 > start rebuilding
The alteration and extension activities started in January 2011 in order to finish all constructional and installation work by December 2011.The start of the renovation was celebrated by the laying of the first tile, or rather the first personalized tiles. Together, these tiles form a work of art on the covered courtyard’s floor. Among those present were mayor Onno Hoes, member of the Provincial Executive of Limburg Odile Wolfs, chairmen of Elisabeth Strouven Foundation, chairmen of TEFAF Foundation, Wagner-de Wit and Bonhomme-Tielens, who together raised the majority of the required 6 million.
Early 2011 > Demolition work
The court was demolished in the spring of 2011. Next to that, the foundation was laid, whereupon the sidewalls were built up again.
Summer 2011 > A new roof construction
The construction efforts continued throughout the summer of 2011, which resulted in the creation of the elevated space. Both buildings were connected at the end of the summer by means of a new roof construction.
Autumn 2011 > Adjustments façade
The courtyard and the eye-catching TEFAF exhibition room were taking shape in the autumn of 2011. Next to that, the Spanish Government’s façade was taken in hand, resulting in an entrance shaped like a gateway.
Early 2012 > Museum opening
After the rebuilding and extension in 2011, the museum was refurnished in early 2012. The museum was consequently opened up to the public in March 2012.