The renovation of Mauritshuis started at a time in which the refurbishment of other museums was highly problematic. Museums were faced with delays and budgets being overrun. A bad omen for Mauritshuis, which was due for both a renovation and an extension which, in terms of technical complexity and logistical challenges, certainly matched that of the others.
Closely monitoring the implementation
The renovation of Mauritshuis consisted of a drastic refurbishment, the construction of an underground connection and a meticulous restoration of the entire, historical premises. All this in the very heart of The Hague, with Binnenhof (meeting place of both houses of Parliament of the Netherlands) and the Ministries as its immediate neighbours. Plenty of reason for the Mauritshuis board to manage the entire renovation process themselves, thereby closely monitoring the implementation.
Importance of coordination
In view of the diversity to the expertise needed, the choice was made to put the project out to tender in various, specialist contracts. This provides increased control over the quality of the work, yet at the same time creates a serious challenge in terms of cooperation between the different contractors. Birgit Le Haen: “We developed a contract strategy that encouraged the contractors to coordinate their work as effectively as possible and to solve problems mutually, instead of capitalising on them in order to claim additional money from Mauritshuis. The method of cooperation between the different contractors and Mauritshuis was laid down in a coordination agreement signed by all parties, a vital instrument to secure the mutual cooperation in a situation involving a lot of other contractors”.
Clear agreements on tasks and responsibilities further ensured that every party knew exactly what was expected from them. In the event of unavoidable surprises or setbacks, which are a given in these types of complex projects, it was always clear how these needed to be dealt with. Le Haen: “Through our approach, we have in fact created maximum predictability and as such contributed to improved project control”.
Close contact and short lines of communication
Le Haen: “Our method of working seamlessly ties in with complex and sensitive projects such as the renovation of Mauritshuis. We always maintain close contact with our client. The short lines of communication that we create ensure fast and accurate advice, thereby preventing time being lost when solving issues”.