Museums and exhibition spaces

Amsterdam. Holland.

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The New Rijksmuseum

Cruz y Ortiz arquitectos

Description Technical file

The Rijksmuseum building in Amsterdam was designed in the late 19th century by the Dutch architect Pieter Cuypers. The building had a double programme: on one hand a national museum; on the other, a gateway into south Amsterdam. The museum use has had to pay an extraordinarily high price for the building’s urban role insofar as a connection element between the city as it was then to the north and the new developments to the south. A passage, virtually a street, crosses the building from north to south, dividing it in two, forcing the museum to have two entrances – both facing northwards – and to main staircases. This means that there is only one connection on the main floor between the east and west wings into which the building was divided by the passage on its two lower storeys.

The intervention on the building consisted, on one hand, in opening up a new and single entrance to the museum, for which it occupies the central body of the passage, and on the other, in liberating the courtyards and display spaces, to some extent recovering its original status or at least its dimensions. While the first of the two aims could not be achieved given the radical opposition of the cyclists’ associations, a great central hall has nevertheless been generated by joining up the east and west courtyards underneath the passage. The great space generated by opening up and connecting the courtyards will house indispensable uses such as welcoming visitors and will constitute a worthy space on the scale merited by the building’s magnificence. The hall is accessed from the passage and the routes to the display areas start here, linking up with the great original staircases.

Limestone has been used in the new space, with characteristics that differ from the existing stone but sill unite the new and the old within a framework of controlled contrasts. This same material has been used in the two small new-builds executed in the garden. The courtyards, with a slightly sloping floor, are connected underneath the passage, and a structure with acoustic and lighting missions have been suspended above each one of them, the “chandeliers”.

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Localización Location: Stadhouderskade 42, Amsterdam. Holland. Cliente Client: Rijksmuseum Ámsterdam-Verkeer, Ruimtelijke Ordening & Milieu - Onderwijs, Cultuur & Wetenschap – Rijksgebouwdienst. Arquitectos Architects: Cruz y Ortiz arquitectos. Arquitectos colaboradores Collaborators architects: Coordinadores: Muriel Huisman, Thomas Offermans, Tirma Reventós, Oscar García de la Cámara, Marije Ter Steege, Alicia López, Juan Luis Mayén, Clara Hernández, Ana Vila, Victoria Bernícola, Jan Kolle, Victor Breña, Sara Gutiérrez, Marta Pelegrín, Iko Mennenga, Joaquin Pérez-Goicoechea, Lourdes Gutierrez, Carlos Arévalo, Rocío Peinado, Juan Carlos Mulero, Miguel Velasco, Luis Gutiérrez. Restauración Restoration: Van Hoogevest Architecten. Estructuras Structures: Arcadis. Instalaciones Installations: Ove Arup. Paisajismo Landscape: Copijn Landschapsarchitecten. Diseño exposición AP AP Design exhibition: Mediomundo arquitectos: Marta Pelegrín. Infografía Infographic: Cruz y Ortiz arquitectos: Alejandro Álvarez Indigo. Constructora General contractor: JP van Eesteren. Presupuesto Budget: 141.689.805 €. Superficie Area: 30.000 m². Fecha proyecto Project date: 2001-2013. Ejecución Completion: 2007-2013. Fotografía Photography: Luuk Kramer, Duccio Malagamba, Jose Manuel Ballester, Pedro Pegenaute
Cruz y Ortiz
Pedro Pegenaute
Luuk Kramer