Featuring the famous Treppenstraße (monumental stairs) that leads to the exhibition rooms, its undisputed highlight is the cupola; the distinctive tower on the banks of the Maas. Rossi regarded the museum as a 'viewing factory'.

The Bonnefantenmuseum is built in an E-shape, with four storeys and a separate, distinctive tower on the banks of the Maas. The main entrance is on the Avenue Céramique and there is a second entrance by the Café Ipanema. Most of the public areas are situated on the ground floor: the entrance hall, museum shop, auditorium, café and tower room. The museum galleries are higher up; collection on the first floor and temporary exhibitions on the second and third floors. At the top of the central wing is a 'print room'. The exhibition space totals over 4,000 m².

The building is constructed of traditional materials, like brick, natural stone and zinc, around a skeleton of concrete and steel. Indoors, the floors are mainly made of keruing wood. However, the most natural factor of all is the daylight, as the central staircase is actually a covered street, where you feel almost as if you were outdoors. On the second floor, the daylight interacts with the works of art. Walking around, the visitor goes through corridors alternately on the south and north sides of the central stairwell. The lighting effect is provided by the contrast between open and shut that dominates the building. The façades at the front and sides are shut, and the façades of the central wing, which forms the axis of the building, are open. This interplay of light and routing is emphasised by horizontal and vertical openings, which turn the visit into a 'promenade architecturale'.