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by Verosol


Cruz y Ortiz arquitectos en tant que Architectes.

When the renewed Rijksmuseum will open her doors in 2013 it will fulfil all international conditions to house over 7.000 objects of art and history, exposed for a big public of 1,5-2 million visitors each year. In order to achieve this, an impressive renovation took place, based on the assigned competition of Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos in 2001, in which the original 19th century building of Cuypers has been recovered in its original glory. The way in which Cruz y Ortiz carefully treated the existing building highlights and reinforces the spatial use of the monumental building in a modern way. An important thread in the architects’ perspective is “to go further with Cuypers,” which not only does justice to the original architect, but as well requires a measured interpretation of the costly monumental aspects and giving them a new logic or additional layer in time. The co-existence of old and new, without any narrative character, is essential in this juxtaposition.

Once the visitor has entered the museum, this approach is most sensible in the courtyards, where similar to the Cuypers’ building, solemnity, quietness and symmetry are present, embraced by the adjacent centuries’ old facade. Simultaneously the existing building has been made fully public accessible, even including the formerly secluded staff areas in the low vaulted basements.

The severely damaged casco has been liberated from any visual installation component, false ceiling or subdividing wall and is revealed in all splendour bringing down dosed light on the art objects of the big masters. In addition, useful space has creatively been sought underneath the courtyard’s square within the boundaries of the very own building, facilitating spacious, modern public functions such as the auditorium, the shop and grand cafe. A big merit for the Rijksmuseum is the big indoor square under the well illuminated atria for the development of all kind of events.

The physical and visual interruption that the peculiar bicycles’ passage straight through the Rijksmuseum used to give, has been overcome by a gentle slope of the square, enabling to connect east with west, something that in the original plans of Cuypers only occurred on the highest level of the exhibition area. With this smart intervention one of the biggest logistical bottlenecks of the past century has been resolved, offering the RIJKS a great public space for multiple use under its own roof and providing it a vast promising future.

New exhibition wing completes the second phase of the transformation of the Rijksmuseum

The new exhibition wing of the Rijksmuseum on Museumplein will open on the 1st of November. In the Philips Wing, the museum will organise high-profile exhibitions with art from its own collection and art on loan from international and national collections. The first exhibition is Modern Times. Photography in the 20th Century, and from February, Late Rembrandt. In the Philips Wing, for the first time in its history, the Rijksmuseum will have a permanent room to exhibit photography. The first exhibition there will be Document Nederland: The Netherlands – Belgium. The 17th-century Chinese painted cabinet from the Orange-Nassau palace in Leeuwarden can once again be admired in the Philips Wing. Finally, a special culinary concept will also be launched in the new restaurant. The opening of the new Philips Wing completes the second phase of the transformation of the Rijksmuseum.

Seventeenth-century Chinese lacquered room from Leeuwarden One of the oldest lacquered rooms in the world returns to the Rijksmuseum. The Chinese lacquered room of the Orange-Nassau stadholder court in Leeuwarden has recently been fully restored. The lacquered room, decorated with precious lacquer panels from China, was installed in the Frisian palace in 1695 by Princess Albertine Agnes van Nassau, daughter of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms. The lacquered room will once again be furnished with furniture and Oriental objects from the Golden Age, to give an impression of court life at that time. In the seventeenth century, the arrival of exotic objects from the Far East initiated a revolution in Dutch interior design. These were brought back by the Dutch ships that sailed the world's seas. They brought Chinese and Japanese lacquer work, porcelain, ivory and furniture made out of precious wood such as coromandel and ebony.

The princess received her family and friends in the lacquered room to do something that was extremely fashionable among the elite at that time: drink tea. For this reason, in the room next to the Chinese lacquered room, the Rijksmuseum will feature the rising tea culture of the 17th and 18th centuries, displaying dozens of European and Asian teapots and tea caddies, made of silver, porcelain and pottery, from the 17th century until the Art Deco period.

The restoration of the lacquered room was sponsored by the Irma Theodora Fund/Rijksmuseum Fund.

RIJKS® At RIJKS®, the Rijksmuseum's new restaurant, a team of regular chefs and different international guest chefs under the leadership of executive chef Joris Bijdendijk work with local Dutch ingredients as much as possible. They drawinspirationfrom the many exotic flavours that have influenced Dutch cuisine throughout the ages. Rijks® serves the most delicious wines from Dutch vineyards all over the world. The restaurant, which was designed by interior designer Paul Linse, can seat up to 140 guests.

A separate room can be booked for special occasions for up to 30 people. By next spring, you will be able to enjoy lunch or dinner in a large outdoor café situated in the Rijksmuseum gardens.

Shylight by Studio Drift A moving light installation designed by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta from Studio Drift, inspired by a poetic combination of nature and technology, Shylight is hidden in a “cocoon”. The light falls from its cocoon, opens its flower and floats down. At the slightest “danger”, Shylight will close up and retreat into its shell. This light installation, which will be hung in the richly decorated 18th-century “Rotterdamse trap” [Rotterdam staircase], opens its blossom through a system of refined technology. The cups are made of many layers of pure organic silk. Ingenious robotics make the Shylight move up and down constantly. The luminosity of the LED lighting and the speed of the movements can be fully programmed through the use of a mobile phone or iPad.

Philips Wing The current Philips Wing is the name for a number of expansions to the main building (1885), which were constructed at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century (1909-1916) by Pierre Cuypers and his son Jos, who was also an architect. The part that was called the “Fragment Building” is the most special. At the end of the 19th century, many historical buildings were renovated or demolished in the Netherlands. The Rijksmuseum wanted to preserve a number of construction fragments for Dutch architectural history, so these fragments were brought to Amsterdam from all over the country. This is a unique phenomenon: a museum where the collection pieces formed the museum building itself. The Ochkingastins staircase tower in Franeker, the arches from the stairwell of the Constantijn Huygens house in The Hague and the wall from the stables of the Castle of Breda; all of these constructions have been integrated into the current Philips Wing.

From the 1st of November, the façade from the castle of Count Hendrik III of Nassau in Breda can once again be admired in the Philips Wing. The wall (2nd quarter of the 16th century) was part of the castle's stable complex, one of the earliest buildings in the Italian Renaissance style in the Netherlands.

It is 20 m long, 3.5 m wide and richly decorated with sandstone elements (columns and arches), windows and doors. The façade is part of the new entrance area of the Philips Wing that was designed by Cruz and Ortiz, who are also architects behind the remodelling of the main building.

The façade has been very carefully cleaned and restored with the support of American Express.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam reopens

ARUP en tant que Ingénieurs.

On 13 April the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will be reopened by Queen Beatrix, finalising a ten year renovation project. For the first time in history the 19th century museum building received a huge transformation as well as the presentation of the collection. The architects Cruz and Ortiz were commissioned to lead the design team responsible for the refurbishment and modification of the Rijksmuseum.

Arup – in joint venture with Royal Haskoning / Van Heugten and DGMR – was subsequently appointed to work on the building services and building physics aspects of the renovation, as well as the lighting design of the iconic building, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Amsterdam.

"The architecture of Cruz y Ortiz blends and contrasts with the restored Cuypers masterpiece bringing the Rijksmuseum back to international prominence. The unseen hand of Arup (and its JV partners) creates a balance in art conservation and display." — Joop Paul, Project Director Arup

The renovated museum is expected to attract 1.75 million to 2 million visitors annually, which would bring the Rijksmuseum into the top 20 most visited museums worldwide.

"The museum has regained much of its 19th century grandeur, paired with 21st century lighting and technology." — The New York Times

After the successful completion of the main building and its corresponding annexes, the ‘Philips Wing’, which housed the exhibition while the main building was being renovated, is now set to be refurbished, again with Arup’s involvement.


-Refurbishment of existing buildings and access improvements. -Stable indoor climate keeping the art in top condition. -Arup was responsible for lighting design, building services and building physics.

In 2001, Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz were commissioned to lead a team to develop the design for the refurbishment and modification of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Arup was subsequently appointed to work on the buildings services aspects of the renovation as well as the lighting design of this important 19th century monument. The renovation included a complete overhaul of all existing installations for the main and surrounding buildings. The main goal was to create a stable indoor climate to prevent changing conditions damaging the exhibits. Arup also advised on building physics and ICT concepts working in close collaboration with Van Heugten and DGMR. The resulting solution included changes to the façades and interiors of the museum buildings, along with an advanced building management system befitting a modern museum of international ranking. Recommended approaches were also made to resolve the access problem that the public passageway created by dividing the building into two disconnected halves.


Invisible installations

One of the main challenges for the design team was the integration of the services installations in the building, while recovering the original geometry of the building and its space. The original 19th century monument had not included space for the distribution of modern-day installations. Before the renovation, the vaulted ceilings were covered with 'fake' ceilings, hiding the building services. By restoring the original architectural splendour, the team came up with creative and integrated solutions, finding new ways to hide the installations from the eye. This required a multi-disciplinary approach with contributions from all consultants.

Lighting design

The original museum design relied heavily on daylight. Over the course of time, this was reduced by blocked up windows and suspended ceilings. The refurbishment design intent was to reinstate daylight and make the Rijksmuseum a day lit museum again. The vaulted ceilings in the galleries are lit by electric lighting, which is designed to emphasise the architecture.

Dutch Co-Architect of the Rijksmuseum

ADP architecten en tant que Co-Architect.

In 2001 the Spanish architects Cruz y Ortiz won the international design competition for the extension of the Rijksmuseum. Because of the complexity of the project, it couldn’t be done without the help of a Dutch practice with their expertise of Dutch building regulations, detailing, building processes etcetera. Cruz y Ortiz invited ADP Architecten as co-architect to assist from final design to completion. In cooperation with Cruz y Ortiz, ADP architects delivered all the specification- and working drawings, this has the equivalent of 18,5 years of drawing work! Also ADP Architecten expertise in designing complex details was of great meaning for the project, modern Dutch building regulations and strict safety requirements had to be incorporated within the demanding boundary conditions of the monumental building without being visible. Intensive collaboration between the involved advisors lead to extremely smart and neat architectural details. The role of mediator in bringing together the knowledge of so many involved parties, and the coordination of the complex building processes was a real challenge.

Welcome to the Rijksmuseum!

Rijksmuseum en tant que Autres.

The project The Rijksmuseum has been housed in the current building, designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921), since 1885. The monumental building enjoyed more than 125 years of intensive use and was really due a thorough overhaul. To that end, it was officially closed in 2000 by the then cabinet. In 2001, Spanish architecture firm Cruz y Ortiz in Seville was commissioned to ready the museum for the 21st century. Maintaining respect for Cuypers, they added modern spaces and up-to-date facilities to the neo-Gothic building. Parisian architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed the furnishings of the galleries, combining 19th-century grandeur with modern design. Under the guidance of architecture firm Van Hoogevest Architecten, Cuypers’ original decorations were reconstructed in various places in the building.

Design overview In 2001, following a European tendering procedure, a committee chaired by Government Architect Jo Coenen commissioned Spanish architects Cruz and Ortiz from Seville to draft a new design for the Rijksmuseum. A separate European tender saw Van Hoogevest Architecten selected for the restoration.

Modern elements Architects Cruz and Ortiz have turned the 19th-century building into a light and open museum for the 21st century. All later additions to the building, such as the lowered ceilings and half-storeys, were removed. Cruz and Ortiz also created a spectacular new entrance to the Rijksmuseum called the Atrium, as well as a new Asian Pavilion and a new building that acts as a service entrance. Visitors can enjoy modern facilities, including a café, a shop, an auditorium and, for the first time, the restored library. The architects also designed the Atelier Building, which was opened in 2007. This is where the Rijksmuseum’s restoration studios are housed. The building satisfies the latest requirements in terms of preservation of the collection and climate control measures.

Cuypers’ design The original monumental ornaments that decorated the walls and ceilings have been returned to prominent rooms, such as the Gallery of Honour, the Grand Hall, the Night Watch Gallery and the stairwells. The faded terrazzo floor in the Front Hall was also fully restored as part of the Van Hoogevest Architecten commission. Cuypers’ hallmark has been restored to the library, where the original design and ornaments have been beautifully maintained and renovated.

Five shades of grey French interior architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, whose work for the Louvre has earned him international acclaim, was invited to devise the interior design for the Rijksmuseum. He has created all display elements for the galleries that complement the restored 19th-century museum, including the elegant display cases, plinths, lighting and furniture. Wilmotte & Associés also designed the colour scheme for the interior, comprising five shades of grey.

The Atrium Architects Cruz and Ortiz have turned the former inner courtyards into an impressive new entrance area, called the Atrium. The Atrium features large glass-covered roofs and pale polished Portuguese stone floors that reflect the natural light, making the Atrium feel airy and bright. Flanking the courtyards are the warm brick façades of the surrounding museum buildings, interspersed with windows and niches.

Below water level The Atrium was created by opening up the museum’s two inner courtyards and removing the galleries that were added in the 1950s and 60s. This yielded a room with a surface area of 2,330 square metres. This was also made possible by sinking the floor of the two courtyards below water level and completely renewing the foundations beneath the original passageway, a very complex technical intervention.

The Passage The Atrium is made up of two spaces that are connected by way of a tunnel underneath the Passage. The Atrium has its entrance in the Passage. The solid walls of the Passage have been replaced with large expanses of glass, allowing passers-by to admire the interior courtyards.

Chandeliers Both sides of the Atrium are adorned by two white sculptural ‘chandeliers’ which break up the enormous scale of the space and fulfil a dual role: they can illuminate the space and the slats ensure better acoustics. The new, light entrance square is open to all visitors, including those without an admission ticket. This area includes the café, the shop, the information desks, ticket sales and the cloakroom.

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