New Stedelijk Museum
Benthem Crouwel Architekten
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Facts about New Stedelijk Museum
Gross Floor Area:
12,000 square meters
Architect: Benthem Crouwel Architekten
Daniel van der Voort
Roy van Rijk
Marleen van Driel
Jan Dirk Valewink
DHV Bouw en Industrie
Inside Outside, Petra Blaisse,
City of Amsterdam
Last updated: November 13, 2012