With its protruding roof and imposing glass façade Bierman Henket Architects’ Fries Museum in the heart of Leeuwarden’s city centre has opened its doors to the public. Hubert-Jan Henket of Bierman Henket created the design in cooperation with Bonnema Architects from Hardegarijp.
“The Frisian architect Abe Bonnema provided the impetus for the new building more than 10 years ago.” says the museum. “Bonnema’s buildings can be seen across the length and breadth of Friesland, the most famous being his final creation, the Achmea Tower in Leeuwarden. When he passed away in 2001 he bequeathed €18 million to the Fries Museum, but it was subject to two provisos. Firstly, the new building had to be located on or in close proximity to Zaailand / Wilhelminaplein in Leeuwarden and secondly, Hubert-Jan Henket had to design the new building.”
Like Bonnema, Henket also designs his building around the users: “I see this as a timeless building, one that has a strong identity, is firmly rooted in the ground and has no unnecessary embellishments – typically Frisian in every sense.” says Henket. He describes the building as: “Light and airy yet still protective. The Fries Museum exudes optimism, but it also provides a sense of security.”
The Nieuw Zaailand Project, of which the museum is a component, began in early 2009 with the construction of the parking garage, which also serves as the foundations to the building. The actual building of the Fries Museum started just before the summer of 2010. The Nieuw Zaailand Project is a collaboration between Leeuwarden Municipality, the Fries Museum, and the real estate developers IPMMC Vastgoed and Syntrus Achmea Vastgoed.