Arcan, Amsterdam, Holland

René van Zuuk
Date Built
This unusual building is home to the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture or ARCAM.  The museum's website describes it as a, "...sculptural building with three layers that are interconnected voids."  Its location was previously used by Renzo Piano for a temporary viewing structure during the construction of Nemo.  With views of the Oosterdock, the Maritime Museum and Nemo, the site is highly desirable but somewhat restricting and awkward.  Van Zuuk's solution is this sinuous shape that has a narrow street level entrance from the Prins Hendrikkade.  On the waterfront the building spreads out and presents a fully glazed facade towards the Oosterdok.

Van Zuuk says of his design that (excuse the clumsy translation), "... The new pavilion is a sober and compact building with three layers. Noteworthy is the internal organization, because the different layers (are interconnected) through voids, all rooms felt part of the whole. The design of the various facades originates in the application of a folded skin Kalzip.  This zinc-finished aluminum skin is a continuous closed surface to volume. The different facades of the building have their own perspective. In this way the folded skin combined with a beveled glass facade for a spectacular entrance to the Prins Hendrikkade and give the building volume on the east side a very sober view. On the water side, the soul of the building is exposed through the glass facades where the steel profiles are barely visible. Here the internal organization of the different layers (are clearly in) view. "