The museum of modern and contemporary art had been shut down for eight months for the six million euro renovation, which also includes exterior repairs and the installation of new interactive displays. But it’s the contributions by a veritable who’s who of flamboyant design that makes this museum a must-visit.
Maarten Baas used his own Clay collection of metal-framed furniture covered in industrial clay as a palette for the Mendini Rastaurant; the Dutch designer outfitted the entire space with his one-of-a-kind furniture, and handcrafted a new series of models especially for the project.
Inspired by the thick-pile carpets, muffled voices and cigars smoke of 19th-century gentlemen’s clubs, Antwerp’s Studio Job resurrects this feel for excessive luxury in its Job Lounge and Chapel. There’s a fountain cast in bronze to look like a floating tap dripping into a bucket, as well as glass lighting fixtures by Venini shaped like breasts. Polychrome leaded glass windows that resemble stained glass depict, upon closer inspection, oil rigs, factory chimneys and other industrial motifs.
Jaime Hayón’s otherworldly Info Centre features several pieces from the Spanish designer’s previous collaborations, including his bronze-finished Copa Cabana ceramic lighting collection for Metalarte, and the task chairs and throne-like armchairs from his Showtime Collection for BD Ediciones. He’s also designed a bulbous, branched table incorporating all-white privacy hoods and partitions that seamlessly rise up from the tabletop.
The Groninger Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm