Skip to main content
Het Rubenshuis en de tuin

The master plan

Pressure on the site has increased steadily in the seventy-five years since the museum opened. With the impetus provided by a leverage grant from Tourism Flanders, Antwerp City Council asked the Flemish Government Architect on 30 May 2016 to develop a vision for the reception, experience and operation of the Rubens House.

Return to the overview

The master plan intends to continue in the same vein: with both immense respect for Rubens’ work and an appropriate commitment to renewal. The plan covers the entire Rubens House site:

  • The artist’s residence, with the Flemish wing and the Italian wing designed by Rubens himself;
  • The artist’s garden, which also served as the verdant setting for some of his family portraits; and
  • The adjoining Kolveniershof, with both the historic arquebusiers’ building and modern-day Rubenianum.

The site lies at the heart of the city block between Wapper, Hopland, Kolveniersstraat and Meir and was the focus of Peter Paul Rubens’ work in seventeenth-century Antwerp.


A new building and a new routing

To be able to guarantee a high-quality service and an inspiring dynamic in the future, spatial expansion and integration of the two operations on the site are clearly necessary. Robbrecht and Daem have worked out concrete answers to this: a new building at 13 Hopland, with a reception area, experience centre, museum café and the Rubenianum’s internationally renowned library, plus a new routing that will increase and deepen understanding of Rubens’ work and life.

Paul Robbrecht:

"The site borders a highly commercial zone in the city. So we’re also trying to create a very clear signal from the street side: when you enter this site, at this point,
you’re stepping into a different world."


A newly landscaped museum garden and an adapted artist's dwelling

In addition to these interventions by Robbrecht & Daem Architects, the museum garden will be redeveloped, as a central, connecting feature, with respect for the past and in response to visitors’ current needs. The artist’s home will undergo a complete revamp. The restoration will create more space for visitors and international exhibitions. The museum will also be fitted with optimised climate control, that meets the highest international standards. A comprehensive restoration of the museum’s interior will enhance the experience while the addition of a lift means the museum will become largely accessible for people with disabilities.

Ensuring the Rubens House is completely future-proof for the 450th anniversary celebrations of the artist’s birth in 2027. 

Read more about...

Voorgevel nieuwbouw © Robbrecht en Daem architecten

A new building

The various needs that exist cannot be solved within the existing infrastructure. Expansion is needed – that much is clear. A location study shows that the undeveloped space along 13 Hopland is the most suitable place to achieve this much-needed expansion. It is located behind the garden wall along Hopland, between two taller buildings.