- Renovation and extension of one of the largest modern art museums in the Netherlands.
- Hovering superstructure is carried by only six points of support.
The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is renovated and extended to help it recapture its key position in the art world.
The starting point for the restoration was to show the character of the original building, a neo-renaissance design by architect AW Weismann. The building is celebrated for its majestic staircase, grand rooms and natural light.
During the renovation some of the non-original intermediate floors are removed. New connections are made between exhibition spaces.
Arup is responsible for structural engineering advice, daylight protection advice and lighting design. The aim of the lighting design was to maintain maximum possible natural light in the museum given the constraints of art conservation.
Designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects, the museum extension consists of a basement with a solid superstructure lifted above. This structure appears to be ‘hovering’ above ground level, allowing the old building to be visible through the glass-encased ground floor.
An information centre, library, shop and restaurant with terrace are to occupy the transparent ground floor of the addition – which will also form the new museum entrance.
Six points of support
The new superstructure consists of two levels – a large exhibition space and auditorium on the lower level with offices located above. A large canopy cuts through the new structure at the gutter height of the old building.
Large steel trusses in the facade make it possible to carry the ‘bath tub’-shaped superstructure on only six points of support: five columns and one concrete wall. This solution allows a large open space for exhibitions to be created. The optimisation of the structure, such as the location of the bearing points and the trusses, was a collaboration between Arup and Benthem Crouwel.