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Portfolio The Largest Museum of the Netherlands

How do you design a service which turns 13 churches into 1 museum?

At the initiative of Museum Catharijneconvent, July 2017 saw the opening of  “ The Largest Museum in the Netherlands”. How did we create one museum out of thirteen special churches and synagogues?

A unique collection of art treasures.

Dutch churches contain a unique collection of artistic, historical and cultural treasures. Why do Dutch people walk past church doors in their own country, while they go inside to take a look at every little church they come across when they are on holiday abroad? That was Museum Catharijneconvent’s question to us.

It starts with research.

Museum Catharijneconvent and Fabrique started this project by conducting research into churches and their potential visitors. It seems there are too many unknowns holding these potential visitors back. Is the church open? Will I be disturbing a service or a mass? Will I be able to talk out loud once I am inside?

Using the results of the research we mapped the customer journey, from the first Google search to sharing experiences with others after the visit. 

How do we create a relevant museum experience?

This question was central during the research. The interpretation was open. We investigated various options: an exhibition, screens in the church, a tour with a guide, VR and a paper guide.

We opted for an audio tour.

An audio tour does not disturb the activities and the appearance of the church, provides customized information and is not dependent on Wi-Fi. We created a tour that tells surprising stories about interior and art, without disturbing the experience of the church.

Grootste Museum van Nederland - audiotout ontwikkeld door Fabrique Grootste Museum van Nederland - audiotour ontwikkeld door Fabrique Grootste Museum van Nederland - audiotour ontwikkeld door Fabrique

Beacons tell the story.

The visitors can follow a fixed tour or they can roam around freely. We hung 90 beacons in the churches. The beacons ensure that visitors will get the right information at the right place.

Virtual museum layer.

With the audio tour, the campaign, the website, informational maps, banners, door signs and all the other communication media, we gave the churches an extra layer; a virtual museum layer.

Iconic campaign image.

Museum Catharijneconvent and Fabrique also came up with the campaign for the museum together. An iconic image was created: a collage of a gigantic church.

Around the corner.

The national campaign is centred around introducing this new museum. Locally, the campaign explains how close the churches are, and the church itself and its immediate surroundings have been made to look accessible and welcoming.

Unique cooperation.

From the very start we cooperated closely with Museum Catharijneconvent. This way, we were able to take care of everything from a service design angle: from the national campaign to the way that volunteers welcome visitors to the churches.

A Michelin star for churches.

By making every detail conform to the same underlying idea, the churches and synagogues, which are very different in themselves, now form one whole. The Largest Museum of the Netherlands is a complete experience. A Michelin star for churches.

Would you like to know more about this project?

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