Artist Ingeborg Meulendijks (1968) has been working on The secret house since 1997, an ongoing art project which consists of sculptural scale models, photographs portraying the atmosphere within each modeled space, short films, and work on paper.  By playing with scale, perspective and light, she explores how we experience spaces on an emotional level. Interior space and its meanings are her special areas of interest.

The time, craft, and intensity required to fashion the scale models are analogous to her quiet dedication of a contemplative life. She makes use of anachronistic details – not in an attempt to resurrect the past, but to make all sense of time disappear. Instead of serving as conventional models, her structures embody a unique reality. They are portraits of inner spaces and mental images. The project has become a place where ideal and reality meet, a threshold between the imagined and the concrete.

In order to live, we need a house – a bounded space that embodies the secret of the boundless. To live a decent life, everyone needs a home. A place you truly want to be. But do our concepts of time and place apply when formulating the idea of 'home' as an architectonic space?

Her first architectonic project, commissioned by SKOR, the Dutch Foundation for Art and the Public Domain, was carried out in 2009. Ingeborg Meulendijks designed a non-denominational chapel and meditative space in the new ZorgCompas nursing home located in a multicultural community in Rotterdam. Because there is little place for reflection in our society, what she had in mind was to literally and figuratively make room for quiet contemplation in the middle of a busy nursing home. For this project, she devoted herself to the question; Is it possible to formulate the concept of home as a sacred place?  Is it possible to experience the intimacy of home in a public space, open to visitors from many different cultures and religious beliefs?  Her studies into these topics continue today in the form of follow-up projects and lectures on multi-faith spaces and room for contemplation. 

My work – only as limited as the imagination – is an ongoing project devoted to the following ideal: that we be sheltered and safe in a public space, and that this public space bolsters our trust when meeting another or facing the unknown.


1990/1992 Jan van Eyck Maastricht / post-academic institute for research and production in the fields of fine arts, design, and theory.
1986/1990 Maastricht Academy of fine arts and design: cum laude in Fine Arts

Academic work

2012-present Lecturer at Academy of Architecture Maastricht, Master Program
2011-2018 Lecturer at Maastricht Academy of fine arts and design
2008/2012 Professorship Gestaltung & Gestaltungstheorie, Universität Siegen Architektur (DE)
2005-2008 Lecturer at Academy of Architecture Maastricht

Lectures beside teachership

2019 University of Delft, faculty Interiors, Buildings, Cities
2019 University of Hasselt (BE), faculty Architecture and Arts “Studio Contemplatie”
2018 University of Delft, faculty Interiors, Buildings, Cities “Symposium Teachings of Tessenow”
2017 ‘De Laatste Tuin’ Symposium Apeldoorn organized by het Ontwerpinstituut 14.06.2017
2017 University of Eindhoven, faculty Architecture “scalemodels City of Stone”
2012 University of Manchester International Conference on Multi-Faith Spaces
2010 ‘Believing in Architecture’ Rotterdam, organized by IFMA
2004 Stedelijk Museum, Roermond theme: architect P.Cuypers & scalemodels
2003 Amsterdams Historical Museum, Amsterdam theme: 17th century architectonic scalemodels

Grants - scholarship

2017 Mondriaan fund
2015 Mondriaan fund
2002 Fonds BKVB (now Mondriaan fund)
1994 Fonds BKVB (now Mondriaan fund)
1992 Fonds BKVB (now Mondriaan fund)


2017 Sundaymorning@ekwc, international post-academic institute for ceramic art, Oisterwijk
2006 Meulensteen Art Centre Eindhoven


2019 SaintGobain Glass, Strasbourgh (F)
2018 TextielLabTilburg
2015 TextielLabTilburg


Kunst in openbare ruimte, gemeente Utrecht
Gemeentemuseum, Helmond
AZM Art Collection, Maastricht
RUL Art Collection, Maastricht
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munchen
Musee National de l’ Art Moderne Centre George Pompidou, Paris
Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Leiden
Museum Amstelkring, Amsterdam
Schunck*, Heerlen
Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo
DSM Art Collection, Sittard
Stedelijk Museum, Roermond
De Fabryck - Buro v. gebouwhistorisch onderzoek, Utrecht
Huis v.d Kunsten, Roermond
SACIC Art Collection, Sittard
Private collections


2019 Artcommission for Villa A, An Arboreous Imprint (glass)
2019 Artcommission for Villa A, A softer Edge (textile)
2017 Art commission ‘Pavilion of remembrance for Daelwijck cemetery, Utrecht
2015 Artcommission ‘Contemplative Space for rehabilitation centre Laurens, Rotterdam
2015 Artcommission ‘Out of the dark’ C-city Kerkrade
2010 Artcommission ‘Chapel for one person’ Schutterspark, Brunssum
2010 Designcommission for chapel in nursing home, de Boomberg, Hilversum
2009 Artcommission for multi faith chapel in nursing home, Delfshaven, Rotterdam, SKOR
2005 PostNL Cooperation at Royal Dutch Mail by design stamp ‘Mooi Nederland’
2004 Art commission ‘Made to last forever’,Stedelijk Museum Roermond 
2003 Art commission ‘Reconstruction’,archaeological project "Sjerfkes" Tiendschuur Tegelen.

Exhibitions (selection)

2019 Imaginary landscapes, Kunsthal, Museum Helmond
2018 Teachings of Tessenow, University of Delft, faculty Interiors, Buildings, Cities
2015 Out of the Dark, C-city, Kerkrade
2012 Atmosphere, SABIC, Sittard
2011 Liturgical Robes, FashionClash Maastricht
2010 Tijdverdrijf, Slow-art at SchuttersPark, Brunnsum
2009 Out of the box, Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo
2008 Kunstwechsel, Siegen DE
2007 Verborgen Vrouwen, Museum Amstelkring Amsterdam
2007 ZIN - Rondom de leegte, Stadsgalerij Breda
2006 solo: Houses of Mind,Technical University Architecture, Eindhoven
2006 solo: het geheime huis, Huis voor de Kunsten, Roermond
2006 51 gr. 28' NB  05 gr. 39' OL, Gemeentemuseum Helmond, Helmond
2006 Im Atelier, IKOB Internationales Kunstzentrum Ostbelgiens, Eupen
2005 Drijfhout TEFAF, Provinciehuis Maastricht
2005 Light goes with darkness, Throssel Hole Buddhistic Monastery, Carrshield, UK
2001 solo:’Ken de huizenbouwer, op de drempel tussen idee en werkelijkheid’, Stedelijk Museum Roermond (in cooperation with historical scalemodels of architect P.Cuypers)
2001 11e vanBommelvanDam prijs, Museum van.Bommel van Dam, Venlo
2000 solo: ‘Kleine dingen doen alsof het grote zijn, en de grote alsof ze klein en gemakkelijk zijn’ Gallery Signe, Heerlen
2000 Parkstadprijs 2000, Stadsgalerij Heerlen
2000 Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Diepenheim
1999 More then meets the eye, Museum van Bommel van Dam, Venlo
1999 Sacred Secrets, Museum Amstelkring, Amsterdam
1996 solo: Maaltijd, Stichting Ultima Thule, Amsterdam
1995 Huis, W139, Amsterdam
1994 ‘Uit de geheime kamer’ Gallery Ardi poels, Maastricht

Cooperation scientific research

2012 International Conference ‘Multi-Faith Spaces, Symptoms and Agents of Religious and Social Change, the University of Manchester (UK)
2011 See the emptiness Hear the silence; essay in journal on ethics and care Zin in Zorg, publisher Relief, Utrecht
2007 Pierre Cuypers, A.J.C.van Leeuwen, publisher Waanders Zwolle
2004 Een toevloed van werk, van wijd en zijd - de beginjaren v.h. atelier Cuypers/Stoltzenberg, red. L. Schiphorst, publisher Universiteit Nijmegen
2003 Een curieus Werck, oorlog en vrede verbeeld in een 17de-eeuwse maquette., red. M.Caraso-Kok, AmsterdamMuseum, publisher Verloren, Hilversum
1999 Summer University Maastricht/Amsterdam ‘The genesis of the 17th century Dutch painting’


2020 Jesse Holweg ‘Het werk ademt en leeft’, DUIC Utrecht
2019 Ingeborg Meulendijks ‘Villa A – the process’ artist’s book limited edition
2018 Jurjen Zeinstra ‘The secret House, on absence and presence’ Teachings of Tessenow, Contemporary Relevance of an Architectural Oeuvre, page 57-71
2017 Jacqueline Knudsen ‘Aan mijn liefste’ Achitectuur NL, page 32-34
2017 Beatrijs Schweitzer ‘Aan mijn liefste’ BeeldenMagazine 3#2017 page 32
2017 Nanne op ‘t Ende ‘Post zonder adres’ Sundaymorning @ekwc publicatie Urnen, page 11
2017 Veronique Hoedemakers, Publiek (digital) Zorg & Samenleving,: Aan mijn liefste, 27.01.2017
2015 cat. Out of the dark, C-city Kerkrade
2012 Noelle Kemmerling  ‘Atmosphere’, cat. SABIC Caspar Cillekens ‘Mysterieuze doeken en schaalmodellen’ newspaper limburger 03.11.12
2011 See the emptiness Hear the silence; Magazine ‘Zin in Zorg’ SKOR The collection cat. “Ingeborg Meulendijks”
2010 Saskia van der Lught “Ingeborg Meulendijks” cat. Out of the Box
2006 Verily Klaassen, "De geheime binnenwereld van historische huizen", Eindhovens Dagblad 01.04.06
Mieke Verschoor, "Houses of Mind", CASA Vertigo Technical University, Eindhoven.
Rebecca Nelemans, ‘Ingeborg Meulendijks’, cat Daglicht
2005 Noelle Kemmerling, "Ingeborg Meulendijks", cat. Drijfhout
2004 J.Deumens "Publicaties en resonanties", cat. J.v.Eyckacademie Interview Artist’s Books Meulendijks
2003 Thijs Lenssen, “Ingeborg Meulendijks”, cat. Sjerfkes
2002 Noelle Kemmerling, “Ingeborg Meulendijks”, cat.DSM Art Collection / The avant garde
2001 Patricia van der Lugt, ‘Ingeborg Meulendijks’, cat. De CollectieStadsgalerij Heerlen
2001 Bart van den Boom,”De onbegrensde verbeelding in een begrensde ruimte”, magazine kM
2001 Paul van der Steen, ‘Interieurs als spiegel van het intieme leven’, newspaper De Limburger 29.09.01
2001 Bram de Klerck, ‘Meulendijks maakt poppenhuizen van Cuypers’ maquettes’, NRC handelsblad 22.10.01
2000 Wiel Beijer, “Het geheim van het poppenhuis” newspaper De Limburger 20.04.00
2000 Marina van Zon, “Ingeborg Meulendijks”, cat.Ciudad de Los Ninos
1999 Noelle Kemmerling, “Ingeborg Meulendijks”, cat. More than meets the eye
1999 Judikje Kiers, “Oud & Nieuw”, Rijksmuseumkunstkrant
1999 Riet van der Linden, “Geheime verzamelingen op zolder”, magazine Opzij
1999 Guido de Vries, “Heilige geheimen op zolder”, NRChandelsblad 08.10.99


2017 interview NPO Radio 1, 05.03.2017
2012 interview by  Norman Winter, PODCAST, Manchester 21.03.2012
2009 interview by Menno Bijleveld, BOS Dutch Buddhist Broadcast Foundation 28.02.09
2007 interview by Hennie Burggraaff NCRV radio program " schepper & co " 30.09.07
2006 interview by Marten Minkema,  VPRO radio program "de avonden" 11.04.06