Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland

Benthem Crouwel Architects
Date Built
The original Stedelijk Museum of Contemporary Art was housed in a building designed by A. W. Weismann in 1895.  You can see it on the right of the image below.  That building's limited ability to house the collection led to the addition of this remarkable extension by Benthem Crouwel Architects.  The "Archdaily" website says that when you stroll through the galleries inside the museum you hardly notice when you leave one building and enter the other.  However, viewed from outside this can hardly be true.  The two buildings are more than a hundred years apart in age and a world away in style.

The architect points out that the entrance to the museum is now off the Museumplein and into the new extension, adding that, "... 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 comes to lie alongside a roofed plaza that belongs as much to the building as to Museumplein. Against the backdrop of the old building, the white synthetic volume is the new powerful image of the Stedelijk Museum."

"Besides the entrance, a museum shop and the restaurant with terrace are situated in the transparent addition on ground level. Below the square are among others, a knowledge centre, a library and a large exhibition hall of 1100 square metres. From this lowest level in the building it is possible to move to a new exhibition hall in the floating volume level. Via two escalators in an enclosed "tube", straight through the new entrance hall, the two exhibition areas are connected. This way the visitor crosses the entrance area without leaving the exhibition route and without being distracted by the public functions; visitors remain in the museum atmosphere."

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