Permanent Exhibition » Museum Renovation

  • Logo Museum renovation
  • The rhinoceros hanging in the air
  • The Mammal room’s display cases have all been removed, only the outlines of their former positions are still visible on the floor. Photo taken on the 28th of April 2015, © RBINS

Museum Renovation

The renovation of our Museum continues! The former Whale hall,  North and South Poles Hall and Mammal Hall make room for a brand new gallery on biodiversity and ecology on earth, in the sea and everywhere around the world.

This winter, we start digging a tunnel between the ‘Convent’ and the Gallery of Humankind - Our Evolution, our body. Unfortunately, noise disturbance will be inevitable.

Remarkable Elements

The ‘Convent’ completely stripped back
  • The Mammal room’s display cases have all been removed, only the outlines of their former positions are still visible on the floor. Photo taken on the 28th of April 2015, © RBINS
  • On the top floor of the ‘convent’ the old curved walls in the former Whale room have been removed, revealing the wooden and metal structure of the roof. It’s a bit like being inside Moby Dick’s belly! Photo taken on the 3rd of June 2015, © RBINS
  • The biggest whale skulls are too big to fit through the doors, so they’re being kept in the room, protected by large wooden storage boxes. Photo taken on the 3rd of June 2015, © RBINS
  • On the top floor the insulation has been replaced and the curved walls have been put back up. At the back of the room you can make out the circular entrance to the former North and South Poles room. Photo taken on the 2nd of July 2015, © RBINS
  • This is the former Mammal room in July 2015. The photo was taken from where the rhinoceros display was. To the left, through the windows you can see the Janlet wing, which is home to the Dinosaur Gallery and the Gallery of Evolution. Photo taken on the 2n
  • In the former Horned Mammals room (at the end of the Mammal room), the metal columns that used to be hidden in the display cases are visible once more. Photo taken on the 2nd of July 2015, © RBINS

The first phase of the renovation of the ‘Convent’ part of the Museum has been completed. The former Whale, North and South Poles and Mammal rooms have been completely stripped back and are unrecognisable. 

Gallery of Humankind: The Making-of
  • Scale model of the gallery (zooming in on the section of the human evolution)
  • Scale model of the gallery (zooming in on the section of the human biology)
  • Figure of a pregnant woman (3D printing)
  • Busts in 3D (layer-by-layer and virtual)
  • Model and drawing
  • Fragment of a DNA string (3D printing)
  • Layout drafts
  • Prototype of the exhibition’s furniture

Click on this picture to see more pictures of the Gallery of Humankind - Our evolution, our body (open since 07.05.2015) including drawings, layout, print tests, modeling, 3D printing and furniture prototypes. Read more about this making-of in our article Behind the Scenes at the Gallery of Humankind.

It's All Go at the Museum!
  • An African buffalo (© Museum of Natural Sciences - Pascal Kileste)
  • The same African buffalo a few minutes later and several meters lower (© Museum of Natural Sciences - Pascal Kileste)
  • The team is preparing the rhinoceros to be moved. (© Museum of Natural Sciences - Pascal Kileste)
  • The rhinoceros upstairs … (© Museum of Natural Sciences - Pascal Kileste)
  • The rhinoceros hanging in the air (© Museum of Natural Sciences - Pascal Kileste)
  • The hippopotamus is lowered. (© Museum of Natural Sciences - Pascal Kileste)

We emptied the Mammal Hall,  but the dust sheets just weren't big enough for our biggest specimens, the buffalo, rhinoceros and hippopotamus! Click the picture to open the slideshow.

A Giant 3D Puzzle
  • The mammoth is dissassembled, bone by bone.

When a museum hall is closed for renovation, the exhibited specimens are moved to another room or put into storage. Moving the mounted animals and skeletons is usually fairly straight forward: they are moved in one piece, the base still attached. But for larger skeletons, such as the mammoth found in Lier (Antwerp), disassembly is required...
From now on, you can admire our mammoth in the 250 Years of Natural Sciences hall.

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