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Closed for expansion and renovations
Design Museum Gent Gevel

New wing for Design Museum Gent

Open Call for architects

Design Museum Gent is adding a new wing. The new building on Drabstraat will link the existing museum buildings, offer additional space and resolve a number of problematic issues like accessibility. The new building will house a number of new museum-related functions and a food service establishment. It will also be developed as a multifunctional international design forum for a highly diverse audience. To make this expansion possible, sogent (urban development organisation for the City of Ghent) is currently looking for a design team.

Design Museum Gent is located in the heart of the historic centre of Ghent. It is the only design museum in Flanders with both historic and contemporary collections featuring not only Belgian designers, but also major international designers. Design Museum Gent is currently made up of three building sections, situated around an historic courtyard:

  • The Hotel De Coninck (18th century) city palace on Jan Breydelstraat, with the main entrance, museum shop and around 480 m² of exhibition space.
  • A wing from 1992 adjacent to the historic courtyard garden with around 1,900 m² of exhibition space.
  • The Huis Leten, with a 16th century core, on Drabstraat, which houses the offices.
Nieuwe Vleugel Design Museum Gent Foto Michiel De Cleene

A new wing

The building complex is being expanded with a new wing under the name DING! (Design in Gent). It will be built on the undeveloped plot on Drabstraat, where the famous toilet paper roll is currently located. The new wing will link the existing museum buildings, thereby forming the final section of the museum.

The new wing will have free admission and function both together with the museum and independently. It will offer opportunities for co-creation and connection, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and debates. The additional space will enable the museum to serve as a host for the creative sector. The ground floor will also have a museum café with direct access to the courtyard and a shop that will sell Belgian design products. The new building will also house a number of purely museum-related functions, such as a small restoration studio and rooms for public activities and logistics.

Thanks to this multifunctional wing and digital technologies, Design Museum Gent will become a genuinely participatory and interactive museum, providing a central meeting place for today’s designers, creators and thinkers. The accessibility of and connection to the old buildings will improve considerably as a result of this new development project.

Annelies Storms, Alderman for Culture, Tourism and Events

Old and new

The new wing represents a significant physical expansion of the museum of around 2,000 m² gross floor area on grounds measuring around 372 m². The construction of the new wing will require the restoration of part of the existing buildings. More concretely, the side and rear façade and the carriage entrance of Huis Leten on Drabstraat and the southern façade bordering the historic courtyard will require renovation. The restoration of these buildings must be done with extreme care, as the buildings are listed historic buildings.

The new building will have a contemporary look & feel. This new landmark will further enhance the valuable heritage of both the buildings and their contents. The connection between old and new will be created with the necessary consideration and respect.

Drabstraat 10 Design Museum Gent Photo Michiel De Cleene

Construction process

For the construction of this new wing, Design Museum Gent and the City of Ghent have contacted sogent to serve as the designated contractor. To find a designer for this project, sogent has launched an open call via the Flemish Government Architect’s Team.

In the autumn of 2018, a maximum of five designers will be selected from the participants, who will be asked to submit a design during the second phase. The design team is expected to be appointed in the summer of 2019. If everything goes according to plan, construction will start in 2021 and end in 2023.

The City of Ghent is allocating 7.5 million euros for this project, while the Flemish government is contributing 2.5 million euros through the Cultural Infrastructure Fund (FoCI).

Further press information and or visuals (not for publication)

Barbara Dubaere

+32 9 269 69 75

Simon Adriaensen

Design Museum Gent


+32 9 323 64 88