Rubenshuis Antwerp

Total Design designs a new visual identity full of Rubenesque contrasts

Rubenshuis Antwerp is undergoing a transformation that embraces the contrasts between the past and the present. The house, once the working and living quarters of one of the greatest and most versatile artists ever, Peter Paul Rubens, is transforming into a contemporary brand that appeals to both a broad and specialized audience.

  • Visual Identity
  • UX / UI Design

Rubenshuis radiates the life of Rubens’ dynamic universe. In his house, Rubens showed who he was: painter, art collector, father, friend, diplomat and architect. His city palace with beautiful garden made an overwhelming artistic impression on his contemporaries.

An architectural masterpiece revived
Rubenshuis, a historic artist’s home designed by Rubens himself, is undergoing a thorough restoration. The building is becoming more sustainable, secure and energy efficient, while maintaining its historical value. A new reception building designed by Robbrecht and Daem Architects is rising next to the house. This building not only welcomes visitors, but also houses an experience center, museum café, research center and the internationally acclaimed Rubens Library. A new, integrally accessible visitor route leads through the house and garden.

A garden that blossoms through the seasons
The new baroque garden, taken in hand by Dries van Noten and Ars Horti, shines 365 days a year. Van Noten’s plant and color advice provides a contemporary interpretation of the Baroque style, with a color palette that celebrates the seasons.

A doubled Rubenshuis
The renovated Rubenshuis will double in size and meet all the requirements of an international modern museum.

Contrasts in typography and color
The new identity embraces the contrasting characteristics of Rubens. The logo combines a classic serif letter with a business sans serif letter, a modern reflection of the title pages and frontispieces from Rubens’ time.

The color palette symbolizes the triptych of Rubenshuis and its inhabitants: blue for heaven/paradise, red for physicality/culture and green for nature/garden. Three contrasting shades of each color provide a distinctive look and flexibility in communication.

Arch forms and tessellation
Three arch forms, derived from Rubens’ architecture, emphasize and zoom in on details. The tessellation strives for symmetry, just as Rubens did in his work. The principle of “halving” is leading in the arrangement of expressions.

The grid of the City of Antwerp forms the basis for the layout, with the recognizable letter ‘A’ of the city logo on each expression.

Tone of voice: past and present connected
The tone of voice connects the past with the present by mirroring themes from Rubens’ works with contemporary phenomena. In this way, Rubens’ work becomes relevant to young and old alike.

Images of the new reception building: Robbrecht and Daem
Images of the new baroque garden: Ars Horti

Opening in 2024 and 2027
The new reception building and redesigned garden will open in August 2024. The museum will reopen in 2027, the year of Rubens’ 450th birthday. From then on, the entire Rubenshuis will be open to the public.

Images of the new reception building: Robbrecht and Daem
Images of the new baroque garden: Ars Horti

Do you want your brand to be recognizable as well as distinctive? Get in touch with Henriette!