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Wing Drabstraat

Design Museum Gent receives a 2.5 million euro grant for a new wing

Design Museum Gent has received a 2.5 million euro FoCI (Fonds Culturele Infrastructuur/Cultural Infrastructure Fund) grant from Flemish Culture Minister, Sven Gatz, for the addition of a new wing to the museum. Previously, the City of Ghent already earmarked 4.3 million euros for the museum’s expansion. The new wing will host short temporary exhibitions and workshops, will offer catering and have a lift.

“At the end of 2016, the City of Ghent earmarked 4.3 million euros for the new wing of Design Museum Gent. I’m very happy that we can now really move forward with the support of Minister Gatz. The new wing gives the museum an option for the future and uses a vacant lot in the city centre of Ghent. Design Museum Gent is so much more than just a museum. It is an ally for the design industry as a whole, both in Ghent and beyond.”

Annelies Storms, Alderwoman for Culture

With the extension of its infrastructure, Design Museum Gent can finally become the host it wants to be, for the design industry as a whole. The new wing will have multi-purpose spaces, for short temporary exhibitions and presentations by and for young designers, the creative industries and the museum’s own collection.

A café/brasserie and a museum shop will be built on the ground floor. The new wing will also have a space for workshops, educational activities and a lift, so the museum can provide a fully accessible experience. The museum’s extension also offers a valuable alternative for a vacant lot in the historic city centre.

Design Museum Gent opened its doors in 1903 and is the only design museum in Flanders, with a collection of 22,000 objects. In 1922, the Museum for the Applied Arts moved into the prestigious 18th-century Hotel de Coninck in Jan Breydelstraat. In 1992, a new build with four floors of exhibition space was built in the location of the former carriage house to accommodate the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. The last phase – a building to be built in Drabstraat – was supposed to provide the premises for the main services (lift, workshop spaces, café/brasserie). This phase was never completed, however, for various reasons. The FoCi grant now paves the way for the construction of this new wing.

In 2015/16, the architect’s firm OYO and the urban planning authority sogent, which will act as the Managing Principal, conducted a detailed volume and feasibility study.

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“This project has been in the works for quite some time, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the museum. That is why I’m so happy that the Government of Flanders agreed to my proposal to grant this important investment grant of 2.5 million euros to Design Museum Gent. The conceptual approach of the renovation plan was reviewed with the relevant services of the City of Ghent and the museum’s board of governors. It is worth noting that this grant allows the museum to carry out engineering works. Above all, the museum can now build this much-needed and long-awaited new extension. The museum’s new wing will create plenty of opportunities, which is why I hope that this important addition to the museum’s building can be built very soon.”

Sven Gatz, Flemish Minister for Culture