De Gevangenpoort (the Prison Gate) was built in the 13th century as the main gate to the castle of the Dukes of Holland, the current Binnenhof. Through the centuries it developed into a unique stronghold of juridical power with a court house and an extensive complex of prison cells. Since the end of the 19th century it is a museum dedicated to the history of crime and punishment.
The complex has been restored by the Rijkgsgebouwendienst and a connection with the neighboring Galerij Willem V has been realized. Eklund_terbeek designed the new interior and exhibition. In the “new” Prison Gate the prison cells can be experienced in a guided tour, and an exhibition route displaying the museum’s unique collection of equipment for interrogation and punishment is opened to the public. Moreover, spaces for education are added.
The design for the new interior focuses on strengthening the relation between the building, the many historical layers and the museum collection. The exhibition route brings the visitor along different aspects of the administration of justice such as the arrest, the interrogation, the verdict and the punishment. In the former court room the visitor can put herself in the place of the judge as well as the defendant. In the old living quarters of the warden, school classes will be received and lessons and lectures will be held. A multifunctional piece of furniture with fold-down tables, show closets and projection screens makes it possible to change setting quickly. For all the spaces in the exhibition route, custom made oak furniture and exhibition cases have been developed. These objects fit within the atmosphere and existing materials of the building, but still form a clearly recognizable contemporary layer that leads the visitor through the rich history of the Prison Gate.
completion year: 2011 I size: 1200m2 I location: The Hague I client: Haags Historisch Museum I photography: Ossip van Duivenbode