Nieuwe Instituut is the Netherlands’ national museum for architecture, design and digital culture. Located in the city of architecture, Rotterdam, in the Museum Park with Kunsthal Rotterdam and Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen as neighbours, Nieuwe Instituut has various exhibition spaces, a museum shop, a museum café (with the city’s loveliest terrace), an auditorium, educational spaces and a garden. The impressive architecture collection that the institute manages can be freely consulted in the Research Centre.
Nieuwe Instituut focuses on important social developments, such as the housing shortage, the energy transition, the rise of artificial intelligence, mobility, and the use of public space. Designers, including architects and digital makers, can make important contributions to these developments. Nieuwe Instituut showcases the work of designers, brings people into contact with each other, and collects, develops and shares knowledge.
Nieuwe Instituut looks after the history of design. The National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning is one of the largest architecture collections in the world. The institute’s depot contains four million items. In addition, the institute is part of a network that works to preserve design archives and garden and landscape architecture archives. The collection features in research and exhibitions at home and abroad.
The past is a source of inspiration for current issues and for shaping the future. In its programme, Nieuwe Instituut connects past, present and future. The institute pays extra attention to important events and developments that have been neglected in the past, such as the work of women in architecture and the influence of the squatters’ movement on urban development.
Nieuwe Instituut supports the professional practice of designers in the Netherlands by boosting (inter)national relations, debate and knowledge. On 30 Thursday evenings every year there is a Thursday Night Live! event, during which several programmes take place simultaneously. These are aimed at people who are interested in design.
Nieuwe Instituut is responsible for the Netherlands’ official contribution to the Venice Biennale of Architecture. In recent years, there have also been exhibitions and programmes of activities at the Salone del Mobile in Milan and the biennales in Shenzen, Istanbul and London.
At Nieuwe Instituut, visitors of all ages can experience what it is like to look at the world around them as a designer. They learn that everything in their environment is designed, and that they too can contribute to this in the role of designer. The programme teaches them to look at the world in different ways and encourages a creative and entrepreneurial attitude.
A ticket for Nieuwe Instituut includes entry to Sonneveld House, the 1933 museum home that is the epitome of Het Nieuwe Bouwen, the Dutch modernist architecture movement. Sonneveld House is a total work of art: the architecture, interior and garden were designed in harmony with each other. The interior, with its unique Gispen furniture designs, has a striking and unexpected colour palette.
Collaboration is central to Nieuwe Instituut. This page provides an overview of the institute’s many partners.