Dutch firm Benthem Crouwel Architects are responsible for the recent renovations to the Stedelijk Museum located in Amsterdam.
Originally designed by A.W. Weissman, the building is celebrated for its majestic staircase, grand rooms and natural lighting.
These strong points have been retained in the design along with the colour white introduced throughout the museum by former director Willem Sandberg.
The existing building is left almost entirely intact and in full view by lifting part of the new volume into space and sinking the rest underground.
Its entrance has been moved to the open expanse of Museumplein where it occupies a spacious transparent extension.
The smooth white volume above the entrance, also known as ‘the Bathtub’ has a seamless construction of reinforced fibre and a roof jutting far into space. With this change in orientation and the jutting roof, the museum now lays alongside a roofed plaza that belongs as much to the building, as to Museumplei
Against the backdrop of the old building, the white synthetic volume is the new powerful image of the Stedelijk Museum. The PVC white matte acoustic stretched ceiling has been chosen to absorb acoustic resonance and improve acoustic comfort.
The detailing and colour on the inside of the old and new buildings is in alignment, making the explicit contrast between the old building and the new building barely noticeable when walking through the museum.
The Weissman building is reinstated in its former glory as it embarks on a new life, facing Museumplein, under one roof with the new addition.
Project: Stedelijk Museum
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Architect: Benthem Crouwel Architects, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Technical info: PVC Barrisol membrane
Picture credits: Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts