As good as new: Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum finally complete again
Text: Elina Tsiopa
Visitors have been able to view exhibitions in the Philips Wing of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum again since 1 November 2014. Following on the opening of the museum's main building in April 2013, this brings ten years of alteration and restoration work by the architects Cruz y Ortiz and Van Hoogevest to an end. The Rijksmuseum focuses on Dutch art from the Middles Ages to the 20th century. In the Philips Wing, photography is mainly to be shown.
Architect: Cruz y Ortiz Amsterdam BV, Van Hoogevest Architecten
Location: Rijksmuseum, Museumstraat 1, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Philips Wing, an extension to the main museum building designed and built by Pierre Cuypers in the late 19th century, incorporates fragments of historical buildings from all over Holland that were being demolished at the time the museum was being erected. These important elements for Dutch architectural history were preserved by the museum and showcased in an impressive way. Ochkingastins tower staircase and the Facade of Breda are the best-known of these fragments.
In creating a contemporary exhibition space for the Dutch art museum, the architects sought to establish a link between past and future by incorporating old historical elements of this kind into the constructional renovations. As in the main building, the Spanish architect Cruz y Ortiz handled the alterations and the Dutch architect the restoration work.
The facade from Breda Castle with its brick construction and sandstone piers now stands in contrast to bright white walls, plus Ochkingastins staircase is complemented by a futuristic lighting installation by Drift Studio of Amsterdam. Floors have been polished to a smooth finish and a stairway with a balustrade out of glass and metal leads up to the exhibition rooms on the first floor. In addition a curved balcony connects the two sides of the galleries.
While the Rijksmuseum in general is concerned with Dutch art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, the Philips Wing is to be used for exhibitions of photography. The first exhibition in the newly-renovated space is titled "Modern Times" and features 400 exhibits that recount the story of 20th century photography. Rembrandt's later work is to be placed on show as of 1 February 2014.
Further Information: www.rijkmuseum.nl