Rijksmuseum Revisited: The Dutch National Museum One Year On

Atrium, April 2014. Image © James Taylor-Foster

The Rijksmuseum, which reopened last year after a decade of restoration and remodelling, is a museum dedicated to “the Dutchness of Dutchness.” Pierre Cuypers, the building’s original architect, began designing this neogothic cathedral to Dutch art in 1876; it opened in 1885 and has stood guard over Amsterdam’s Museumplein ever since.

Over the centuries, the building suffered a series of poorly executed ‘improvements’: intricately frescoed walls and ceilings were whitewashed; precious mosaics broken; decorative surfaces plastered over; and false, parasitic ceilings hung from the walls. Speaking in his office overlooking the Rijksmuseum’s monumental south west façade, Director of Collections Taco Dibbits noted how the most appalling damage was incurred during the mid-20th century: “everything had been done to hide the original building […but] Cruz y Ortiz [who won the competition to redesign the Rijks in 2003] embraced the existing architecture by going back to the original volumes of the spaces as much as possible.” 

For Seville-based Cruz y Ortiz, choosing what to retain and what to restore, what to remodel and what to ignore were, at times, difficult to balance. Cruz y Ortiz found their answer in the mantra: ‘Continue with Cuypers’. They threw the original elements of the building into relief but did not act as aesthetes for the ‘ruin’. In contrast to David Chipperfield and Julian Harrap’s restoration of Berlin’s Neues Museum, for instance, Cruz y Ortiz rigorously implemented a clean visual approach that favoured clarity over confusion. What is original, what is restored, and what is new mingle together in a melting pot of solid, understated architectural elements. Sometimes this approach contradicted Cuyper’s original intentions; however, more often than not it complements them in a contemporary way.

KPN Dutch Telecom Company / de Jong Gortemaker Algra Architects

© Christian Richters

Architects: de Jong Gortemaker Algra Architects
Location: Teleportboulevard, , The
Area: 25,000 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Christian Richters

Villa Kavel 01 / Studioninedots

© Peter Cuypers

Architects: Studioninedots
Location: Amsterdam, The
Architects In Charge: Albert Herder, Vincent van der Klei, Arie van der Neut en Metin van Zijl.
Area: 379.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Peter Cuypers

First 3D Printed House to Be Built In Amsterdam

“The building industry is one of the most polluting and inefficient industries out there,” Hedwig Heinsman of Dus Architects tells The Guardian‘s Olly Wainwright, “With 3D-printing, there is zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled. This could revolutionise how we make our cities.”

Working with another Dutch firm, UltimakerDus Architects have developed the KamerMaker (Room Maker), a 3D Printer big enough to print chunks of buildings, up to 2x2x3.5 meters high, out of hotmelt, a bio-plastic mix that’s about 75% plant oil. The chunks can then be stacked and connected together like LEGO bricks, forming multi-story homes whose designs can be adapted according to users’ needs/desires. For Dus’ first project, they’ve taken as inspiration the Dutch canal house, replacing hand-laid bricks with, in Wainwright’s words, “a faceted plastic facade, scripted by computer software.”

So far, only a 3m-high, 180-kg sample corner of the future canal house has been printed; moreover, the blocks will need to be back-filled with lightweight concrete, meaning it’s not yet as biodegradable as its creators would like. However, its game-changing potential is already provoking much interest in the public; over 2,000 people have come to visit the site, including Barack Obama. Learn more at The Guardian and in the video above.

G-Star RAW HQ / OMA

Courtesy of OMA - G-Star

Architects: OMA
Location: Joan Muyskenweg 39, 1099 , The
Architect In Charge: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf, Ellen van Loon
Current Team (Construction + Interiors): Katrien van Dijk (project leader), Tjeerd van de Sandt, Saskia Simon, Marina Cogliani, Jung-Won Yoon
Area: 19000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of OMA – G-Star

Google Amsterdam / DDOCK

© Alan Jensen

Architects: DDOCK
Location: 1082 MD , The
Area: 3000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Alan Jensen

AD Interviews: Ben van Berkel, UNStudio on London’s Canaletto Tower

. Image © Inga Powilleit

ArchDaily recently spoke to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal architect at UNStudio, an international network of specialists in architecture, urban development and infrastructure based in the Netherlands. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. With over 81 built projects, and 54 currently in progress (including Raffles City in Hangzhou and Scotts Tower in Singapore), London’s Canaletto Tower (which is due to be completed in 2015) marks the practice’s first major project in the UK.

VIDEO: Bunker 599 / RAAAF + Atelier de Lyon

Bunker 599, one of 700 secret bunkers that were used to weaponize artificial hydrology in during the 19th century (see: New Dutch Waterline), recently underwent a radical transformation. RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances], in collaboration with Atelier de Lyon, sliced through the seemingly indestructible bunker to link visitors to an existing network of footpaths, create a publicly accessible attraction to those revisiting the NDW, and form a dramatic connection with the flooded plains that were altered more than 200 years ago.

The video above takes you through the process of altering the monolith, ending with film of the stunning result that has been attracting thousands of daily visitors since its completion. To learn more about the project, follow this link.

Pilot IKC Zeeburgereiland / Studioninedots

© Peter Cuypers

Architects: Studioninedots
Location: Zeeburgereiland en Nieuwe Diep, , The
Design Team: Albert Herder, Vincent van der Klei, Arie van der Neut, Metin van Zijl
Project Team: Daniel Aw, Jarno van Essen, Monika Pieroth, Eliano Felício, Pedro Piernas
Contractor: Verlaat Uden Bouwsystemen
Area: 2400.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Peter Cuypers

Het Bushok / Borren Staalenhoef Architecten

© Pieter Kers

Architects: Borren Staalenhoef Architecten
Location: Amsterdam, The
Architect In Charge: K.J. Borren, A.J. Staalenhoef
Client: Claartje Borren
Area: 48 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Pieter Kers

Laan van Spartaan / DP6 architectuurstudio

© Marcel van der Burg

Architects: DP6 architectuurstudio
Location: Amsterdam, The
Design Team: Chris de Weijer, Robert Alewijnse, Richelle de Jong, Björn Bleumink, Harrie Hupperts, Ines van Binsbergen, Carolina Sumares, Job van Stralen, Rik den Heijer, Rosanne van Yperen
Area: 15,730 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Marcel van der Burg

CK Office / Claus en Kaan Architecten

© Christian Richters

Architects: Claus en Kaan Architecten
Location: , The Netherlands
Architect In Charge: Felix Claus, Dick van Wageningen
Design Team: Marc van Broekhuijsen, Jante Leupen, Joost Mulders, Roland Rens, Romy Schneider, Surya Steijlen, James Webb
Area: 3,000 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Christian Richters, Luuk Kramer

Urban Villa / Pasel.Kuenzel Architects

© Marcel van der Burg

Architects: Pasel.Kuenzel Architects
Location: , The
Design Team: R. Pasel, F. Künzel, F. Pocas
Area: 307 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Marcel van der Burg

Olympic Stadium Amsterdam / René van Zuuk Architects

Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects

Architects: René van Zuuk Architects b.v.
Location: , The
Structural Engineer: ABT bv
Contractor: Gebr. Beentjes GWW bv
Area: 940 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of René van Zuuk Architects

Hotel Aitana IJdock / Bakers Architecten + Ben Loerakker

© Courtesy of + Ben Loerakker

Architects: Bakers Architecten, Ben Loerakker
Location: IJdock, , Netherlands
Design Team: Jan Bakers, Martijn Boer, Remko Verkaar, Frank Stahl, Erik Feenstra, Anna Alegre
Interior Architect: Tomás Alía
Master Plan: Dick van Gameren en Bjarne Mastenbroek
Interior Architect Restaurant: Bakers Architecten
Tenant Hotel: Room Mate Hotels
Tenant Restaurant: Vitam BV
Area: 18400.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: John Lewis Marshall, Frank Stahl

Between the Buildings of Historic Amsterdam, An Urban Intervention

’s famous canal district celebrated its 400th birthday this year. And though the district has grown and evolved throughout the centuries, now, more than ever before, this UNESCO World Heritage site is struggling with how to ensure the past doesn’t hold a vice-like grip on its future.

For Jarrik Ouburg, an Amsterdam architect, the problem was more specific: in such a historic district, how do you keep urban transformations from slowing to a stop? This question eventually led him to his ongoing project, “Tussen-ruimte.”  Tussen-ruimte (Dutch for ‘between space’) installs pieces of contemporary art and architecture in the hidden alleys and courtyards that have formed over years of building in the canal district.

Software Engineers Map All the Buildings in the Netherlands

Aerial of Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Waag Society

The Waag Society, together with designer and software engineer Bert Spaan, have put the Netherlands back on the map – the data map. After several months of coding and , the partnership has managed to account for all 9,866,539 buildings in the country, visualized in varying colors to identify old and new buildings. After a user clicks on a specific block, additional building and city information displays square footages, addresses, populations and programs, among other stats. Users can navigate from Amsterdam to the Hague experiencing hundreds of years of urban development along the way, from the pre-1800s to post-2005 buildings, indicated by the red to blue gradient. 

Why is Cycling Part of Being Dutch?

Bike parking in Amsterdam. © Getty Images via the BBC

Did you know that there are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands? And, up to 70% of all commutes are made by bike in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague. To accommodate such a huge number of bike-enthusiasts, bike parking facilities can be found everywhere – outside schools, office buildings and shops. Not to mention the fact that many Dutch cities even have special bike paths that are completely segregated from motorized traffic with signs that read “Bike Street: Cars are guests.” Read this BBC article to learn why the Dutch are so bike crazy and find out Why Cycle Cities Are the Future here on ArchDaily.