The National Glass Museum, was designed by bureau SLA, that located in Leerdam, Netherlands, brainchild of Petrus Marinus Cochius – director of Leerdam glass manufacturers and founder of the Leerdam glass tradition – the Dutch National Glass Museum in Leerdam has, since its inception in 1850, become the Netherlands’ treasury, laboratory and centre of all things breakable.
Feeling that a simple conversion of this new property into administration facilities would too simple, bureau SLA suggested a more artistic approach – that the neighbouring buildings be joined via a series of translucent external passageways and both Cochius’ home and the additional villa be opened to the public with view to the full collection of glass, including that in storage.
Four pedestrian bridges were constructed from several layers of polycarbonate paneling, with a translucent skin of grey, powder-coated, aluminium mesh designed to function ‘like a woman’s net tights; imperfections on the leg are smoothed over’. Internal lighting is thus able to diffuse through the structure, as the walls, ceiling and floors have all been constructed in this same fashion, at night reflecting the glow from an astonishing 9,000 pieces of glasswork housed within their walls. Contrasting sharply with the traditional architectural form of the original villas, the Open Storage bridges add a modern twist to the long-established museum.