In the queen of seaside resorts, somewhat hidden in Romestraat, lies the art museum by the sea, known as Mu.ZEE for short. When you turn onto Romestraat, the imposing glazed facade immediately catches the eye. This impressive modernist building designed by architect Gaston Eysselinck (d. 1953) in 1947 for the cooperative SEO (Thrift Economy Ostend) was used as a department store for many years and called the ‘Coo’ (short for “cooperative”) by the inhabitants of Ostend. In the meantime, the building was listed. A few years after the SEO went bankrupt in 1981, the Provincial Council of West Flanders bought the building. The sales areas became museum spaces in 1986 when the Provincial Museum for Modern Art (PMMK) moved in. In 2008, the museum was expanded significantly with the arrival of the collection of the Ostend Fine Art Museum, and Mu.ZEE was born. Mu.ZEE has two satellite museums: Ensorhuis in Ostend and Permekemuseum in Jabbeke.
We are on Krumb
Discover what the museum looked like at the time of the ‘Coo'. Download the 'Krumb' app from the App Store or Google Play and explore a piece of undiscovered Ostend heritage. The spaces in which you will now find paintings and installations were once the women's clothing, shoes and accounting departments…
In cooperation with the Ostend Image Bank and Prophets, Antwerp
With thanks to Margriet Aps, for her Interior Architecture master’s thesis on the oral heritage of Ostend and specifically the Coo.