TextielMuseum announces plans for a new makers’ hub of the city

10 January 2020

‘In the TextielMuseum of the future, our ambition is to amaze as many people as possible with textiles. We see a great opportunity to play the role of catalyst in transforming Tilburg’s Museum Quarter into the city’s new makers’ hub of the city,’ said Director Errol van de Werdt of the TextielMuseum’s future vision 2020-2024, which was presented today.

In order to retain its (inter)national position at the forefront of textile art, fashion and design, and to serve a larger and wider audience, the TextielMuseum needs to innovate. This means looking beyond its own offering. The new vision for the future aims to position the TextielMuseum as a driving force in the Museum Quarter, bringing together partners, makers, the municipality and local community to create a place where everyone can discover, make, learn and meet.

Textiles then and now
Textiles make up the fabric of Tilburg’s history, as the city’s many former textile factories attest. On the Mommers and Dröge complex, the TextielMuseum’s home and once the centre of the textile industry, the museum wants to breathe new life into the hidden heritage and stories of the past and connect these with the cultural and innovative power of contemporary makers. The museum’s vision for the future includes the further development of the TextielLab for professionals as well as the general public, a makers lab for families and a new interactive presentation about the history of the textile industry. With an updated programme focused on sustainability, innovation and craftsmanship, the museum wants to attract 100,000 visitors and users a year. It aims to achieve this by continuing to appeal to its current audience while engaging a wider and younger public with textiles.

Makers’ hub of the city

The museum wants to realise the envisioned transformation of the Mommers and Dröge complex into a creative hub in collaboration with partners and the municipality. The vacant Dröge building offers an excellent opportunity for partners to have a physical presence on the site, generating new ways to address current themes such as circularity. The diversity of occupants will make the complex more attractive and dynamic for visitors, local residents and professionals. The transformation will also support the municipality’s investment in Tilburg as a ‘city of makers’, in a way that perfectly aligns with the original function of the site: a place where activity, creativity and craftsmanship meet.

Visualising the potential

To help visualise the potential of this dynamic and lively place, the museum asked architectural firm UNstudio to develop an initial design. This shows how, in addition to realising our ambitions – growth, redevelopment and new premises for our partners – the Mommers and Dröge complex can be opened up to the surrounding neighbourhood, for example by introducing roof gardens and courtyards and breaking through the closed facades. Moreover, UNstudio’s design shows the potential for eye-catching, surprising architectural additions to the buildings that perfectly match the city’s new impetus and ambition, following the success of the Piushaven and Spoorzone areas. ‘We couldn’t conceive of a more suitable new repurposing of the complex,’ said Van de Werdt.

Realising the vision
Making the TextielMuseum’s vision for the future a reality will require a combined effort by the museum, municipality and other (financial) partners. The municipality and museum will explore the options this year, in line with the ambition the municipality has with the Museum Quarter. An application will be submitted to the government’s cultural subsidy scheme for the period 2021-2024, to include the TextielLab in the cultural Basic Infrastructure as a development institution, which can provide a solid basis for the realisation of the vision for the future.

Note for editors (not for publication)
For more information, images or interview requests, please contact Femke Vos on [email protected] or + 31 (0)13 5494 539.