Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

Location: Amsterdam
Designer: Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos, Siviglia
Project: Restoration of the Rijksmusem, Amsterdam
First designer: Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921)
Interior design: Jean-Michel Wilmotte – Wilmotte Associés SA, Parigi
Restoration: Van Hoogevest Architecten, Amersfoort
Principal architect: Gijsbert van Hoogevest
Local architect: ADP Architecten, Amsterdam
Garden designer: Copijn, Tuin – en Landschapsarchitecten, Utrecht
Coffee shop designer: Designer Paul Linse
Graphics: Irma Boom
Civil Building and Engineering: ARCADIS
Construction physics: ARUP-DGMR
Lighting consultant: Arup
After ten years of reconstruction, restoration and renewal, on the 13th April 2013 the Rijksmuseum finally opened its doors to the public

and, for the first time in the history of this 19th century museum, drastic transformation has taken place for both the building and the museum displays.

The project leader in the restoration was the Spanish Architecture Firm, Cruz y Ortiz in Seville. Their ideas are based on Pierre Cuypers’ original project, who designed the museum in the 19th century (their motto is Cuypers in the XXI century),  In close cooperation with the architect, Van Hoogevest, responsible for the restoration, the Spanish architects have expertly transformed this 19th century national monument into a modern museum worthy of the XXI century, where light and space are the dominant features.

The architects, Cruz and Ortiz, have transformed the original open inner courtyards into a spacious, bright foyer, renamed the Atrium, covered with a spectacular glass and white steel roof that filters in the natural light, and gives the majestic entrance a modern air without disturbing the original 19th century harmonious lines.

Under the guidance of the architect Van Hoogevest, the original richly decorated walls and ceilings have been recovered, while the French architect, Jean Michel Wilmotte, famous for his work on the Louvre, was responsible for the layout and interiors: delicate colour combinations, inspired by the colours of the original architect, Pierre Cuypers, and all the display systems: glass cabinets, pedestals, furniture and lighting.

The Rijksmuseum collection is a journey through Dutch art from the Middle Ages to the XX century: visitors are able to travel through time visiting the 80 halls over four storeys in chronological order. The XX century hall represents the innovation: paintings, furniture, photos, cinema and even an airplane, describe Dutch culture from the last century.

The Asian hall, designed by Cruz and Ortiz, is a modern glass and Portuguese stone building, surrounded by water, with curved surfaces and unusual visual lines: the atmosphere is purposely different here, rarefied with light colours, lighting and plays of light that enhance the rich collection of Asian art, from China, Japan, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Thailand, from the period between 2000 BC to 2000 AD, for a total of 350 items.

The gardens have also be redesigned by the Dutch landscape architect, Copijn, again based on Cuypers’ original design from 1901, maintaining the classic style with statues, historic ornaments and restyled features. The XIX century greenhouse is noteworthy, with the “forgotten vegetables” and a children’s garden with games by Aldo Van Eyck.

The first annual exhibition will be “Henry Moore”, which will be inaugurated in the new gardens on 21st June.

Marzia Urettini
Acciaio Arte Architettura 54