New Stedelijk Museum
Benthem Crouwel Architekten

October 08, 2012 /

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Photo John Lewis Marshall

Against the backdrop of the old building, the white synthetic volume is the new image of the Stedelijk Museum.

Although the new building is unmistakably different in appearance from the original Stedelijk Museum designed by A.W. Weissman, it matches the scale of the 1895 building and has a direct connection to it on all floors. The two are fully integrated without either one being compromised.

Photo John Lewis Marshall

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. Already known by the nickname "the bathtub," this smooth white volume, supported by white columns, has a seamless construction of reinforced fibre and a roof jutting far into space.

Photo John Lewis Marshall

The main entrance has been moved to the open expanse of the Museumplein (Museum Plaza), creating an active, common ground for the first time among the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Concertgebouw.

Once past the entrance, visitors can choose whether to pass directly into the original building, or take the stairs or elevator to the new building's exhibition galleries.

All the public functions, the knowledge center, museum shop and restaurant are located in the large open, transparent space where the plaza floor continues to the outside of the existing building.

Photo John Lewis Marshall

stedelijk_museum_5.jpgPhoto John Lewis Marshall

The lower level houses the largest free-span exhibition gallery in the Netherlands as well as a large black-box gallery/performance space. The other galleries are on
the second floor.

To allow visitors to enjoy exhibitions without distractions an  escalator enclosed in a yellow "tube," runs directly between the lower level and the second floor.

Photo John Lewis Marshall

stedelijk_museum_7.jpgPhoto John Lewis Marshall

stedelijk_museum_8.jpgPhoto John Lewis Marshall

stedelijk_museum_9.jpgPhoto John Lewis Marshall

The detailing and color in the interior of the two buildings is in alignment, making the contrast between the old and new building barely noticeable when walking through the museum.

The Stedelijk Museum of Willem Sandberg, the director who put the museum on the international map, was our starting point. Sandberg stripped the interior of decoration and had it painted white, creating a neutral background for art. Our plan for the exterior is based on retaining the 19th-century architecture, adding 21st-century technology and painting everything in Sandberg white./Mels Crouwel

Celebrated for its majestic staircase, grand rooms and natural lighting, the Weissman building is reinstated in its former glory as it embarks on a new life; under one roof with the new addition.

Image courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenPerspective Section

stedelijk_museum_11.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenSite Plan

stedelijk_museum_12.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenGround Level Plan

stedelijk_museum_13.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenFirst Floor Plan

stedelijk_museum_14.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenSecond Floor Plan

stedelijk_museum_15.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenBasement Level One Plan
stedelijk_museum_16.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenBasement Level Two Plan
stedelijk_museum_17.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenLongitudinal Sectionstedelijk_museum_18.jpgDrawing courtesy Benthem Crouwel ArchitektenCross Section

Facts about New Stedelijk Museum

Gross Floor Area:

12,000 square meters

Architect: Benthem Crouwel Architekten

Design Team:
Mels Crouwel
Joost Vos
Jan Benthem
Ronno Stegeman
Alexandra Jezierski
Daniel van der Voort
Rogier Putter
Moon Brader
Roy van Rijk
Job Schroen
Marleen van Driel
Florentijn Vleugels
Ton Liemburg
Jan Dirk Valewink

Construction Manager:

DHV Bouw en Industrie

Building Contractor:

Volker Wessels



Technical Engineers:


Interior Textile:

Inside Outside, Petra Blaisse,


City of Amsterdam


Last updated: December 19, 2013

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