At the beginning of December 2014, King Willem-Alexander opened the National Military Museum (NMM) at the former air force base in Soesterberg. The merger of the Military Aviation Museum and the Delft Army Museum to form this new museum created 35,000 m² of exhibition space for an impressive overview of the past, present and future of the Dutch armed forces.
Together with exhibition architect, bureau Kossmann.dejong, Bruns was responsible for the total museum experience of this NMM. Kossmann.dejong was responsible for the concept and the design and Bruns was responsible for the realisation in the broadest sense of the word, from project management to implementation. The 13,500,000 euros spent on the project makes the National Military Museum one of the largest and most challenging projects in the more than 50 year existence of our company.
The two exhibition areas
The sober black building with all-round glass façades contrasts nicely with its natural surroundings. The old landing strip seems to run through the museum, where daylight is given free play on the ‘Arsenaal’ which is the outermost part of the exhibition. Here enthusiasts will feast their eyes on all the highlights of Dutch military history, from armour to modern fighter jets. The Arsenaal includes a second part of the museum called the Black Box. In contrast with the Arsenaal there is less daylight here and the exhibits are large. The Black Box is an intense experience: seven exciting theatrical environments which focus on different aspects of the military. It includes stories about the importance of water for our defence, stories about the present, past and future of the military, the role of the military in Dutch society as well as personal stories of soldiers which show visitors the dilemmas they face.
With a view to attracting the widest possible range of visitors the exhibition themes are dynamic and layered. Enthusiasts can still find extra information and detail, but that it is not essential in order to get a complete overview. For children there is Xplore, the NMM’s interactive exhibition. Xplore is the Bruns show-piece, where all our expertise comes together. Here children can make their own gunpowder, fly in a F16 simuator and even neutralise enemy tanks.
Timelapse Nationaal Militair Museum - Xplore (Interactieve Zone)
Ontdek het Nationaal Militair Museum
Photography: Anne Reitsman and Thijs Wolzak