Laren (NH)


Study for reorganization and partial construction of the Singer museum, theater and sculpture garden


Bouwkundig Adviesbureau J.N.M. Kooij; Lisoba Beheer BV


2012 design study, unbuilt



The Singer Laren museum is housed in ‘De Wilde Zwanen’, a villa owned by an American couple, William and Anna Singer, who are art collectors. As their collection grew over time, the villa acquired the status of a real museum, which now boasts an internationally respected collection of modernist works. Some of these are on display in the celebrated sculpture garden – among them ‘The Thinker’ by Rodin.

The founders hold the view that art, music and drama are inextricably interconnected. That is why in 1956 they added a concert hall, which gradually began to host dramatic performances. By 2011, the complex had become outdated, both technically and organizationally, and a limited competition was held.


In the design a new glass hinge inserted between the various volumes houses the reception area and related functions. A new, more functional hall replaces the demolished theatre.

An important element is the new glazed connection between the museum, sculpture garden and theatre, which facilitates informal activities throughout the complex on sunny days. Opening the building towards the street, a raised foyer lends the complex a fresh and festive appearance.