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 ’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.

Cruise Ship Terminal in the Port of Seville / Hombre de Piedra + Buró4

© Jesús Granada

Architects: Hombre de Piedra, Buró4
Location: Port de Séville, Seville, Sevilla, Spain
Architect In Charge Buró 4 Arquitectos: Jesús Díaz Gómez, 
José Luis Sainz-Pardo Prieto-Castro, Ramón de los Santos Cuevas Rebollo, Jorge Ferral Sevilla
Architect In Charge : Juan Manuel Rojas Fernández, Laura Domínguez Hernández
Area: 508 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jesús Granada

Alamillo Health Center / Suárez Corchete

© Fernando Alda

Architects: Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura, Suárez Corchete
Location: Avenida Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville,
Project Architects: Javier Terrados Cepeda, Fernando Suárez Corchete, Lorenzo Muro Álvarez
Technical Architect: Víctor Baztán Cascales
Project Area: 3611.0 m2
Project Year: 2010
Photography: Fernando Alda

Municipal Center for Citizen Activities / Sección B Arquitectura

© Jesús Granada

Architects: Sección B Arquitectura
Location: Plaza los Luceros, , Spain
Project Architects: Oscar Benítez Carmona, Eduardo Fernández de Alba, Vidal Gómez Martínez
Technical Architect: Blanca Cruz Naranjo
Project Area: 1,624 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Jesús Granada

Agencia Andaluza / Ruiz Larrea y Asociados

© Jesús Granada

Architects: Ruiz Larrea y Asociados
Location: Sevilla,
Architect In Charge: Cesar Ruiz-Larrea Cangas, Antonio Gómez Gutiérrez
Area: 11,187.32 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jesús Granada

Andalusian Institute of Biotechnology / Sol89

© Jesús Granada

Architects: Sol89
Location: Isla de la Cartuja, 41092 Seville, ,
Project Architects: María González, Juanjo López de la Cruz + Francisco González, Salvador Méndez
Technical Architect: Víctor Baztán Cascales
Project Year: 2006
Photography: Jesús Granada

Seville University Residence Hall / Donaire Arquitectos + SSW Arquitectos

© Fernando Alda

Architects: Donaire Arquitectos + SSW Arquitectos
Location: Seville,
Architect In Charge: Juan Pedro Donaire Barbero, Miguel Ángel de la Cova Morillo Velarde, Javier Arroyo Yanes
Design Team: Ignacio Núñez Bootello, Jesús Núñez Bootello, Delia Pacheco Donaire, José Francisco García Gutiérrez, Hilario José García González, Oscar Manuel Ortega Pacheco, Pablo Baruc García Gómez
Area: 1,864 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Fernando Alda

Interventions in Common Areas of Public Multi-Family Housing Buildings / Studio Af6

© Javier Orive

Architects: Studio Af6
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Miguel Hernández Valencia, Esther López Martín, Juliane Potter, Francico José Domínguez Saborido
Year: 2010
Photographs: Javier Orive

Housing Complex in Sevilla / DL+A Arquitectos Asociados

© Fernando Alda

Architects: DL+A Arquitectos Asociados
Location: , Spain
Architect In Charge: Jose Maria De Lapuerta, Carlos Asensio, Paloma Campo Ruano
Year: 2013
Photographs: Fernando Alda

Eastern District of Seville Police Station / Paredes Pedrosa

© Roland Halbe

Architects: Paredes Pedrosa / Ángela García de Paredes, Ignacio Pedrosa
Location: Sevilla,
Area: 3,178 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Roland Halbe, Luis Asín

University Hospital Cafeteria / Sol89

© Jesús Granada

Architects: Sol89
Location: Calle San Juan de Ribera, 1, 41009 Seville, Sevilla,
Architect In Charge: María González García y Juanjo López de la Cruz junto a Silvia Escamilla y Francisco González
Quantity Surveyor: Víctor Baztán Cascales
Structure: Alejandro Cabanas
Building Service: Insur JG
Contractors: Seinsa 2000 S.A. y Astreo S.L
Area: 1152.5 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Jesús Granada

San Jerónimo Hospital Refurbishment / SV60 Arquitectos

© Jesús Granada

Architects: SV60 Arquitectos
Location: Sevilla,
Architect In Charge: Antonio González Cordon
Area: 1,784 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Jesús Granada

Airport Industrial Park / EDDEA

© Jesus Granada

Architects: EDDEA
Location: , Spain
Architect: José Mª de Cárdenas, Ignacio Laguillo, Harald Schönegger
Design Team: Covadonga Varela,Ignacio Orellana, Felipe Clemente, Norberto Bueno, Salvador Sánchez, Raúl Toledo
Area: 13,897 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Jesus Granada

Educational Center in Bollullos, Sevilla / Republica DM

Courtesy of Republica DM

Architects: Republica DM
Location: , Andalusia,
Area: 4604.89 m2
Year: 2009
Photography: Courtesy of Republica DM

46 Social Houses / Gabriel Verd

© Roland Halbe

Architects: Gabriel Verd Arquitectos
Location: Sevilla,
Architect In Charge: Gabriel Verd
Design Team: Gabriel Verd, Simone Solinas
Area: 6,738 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Roland Halbe

Enterprise Park in Arte Sacro / Suárez Santas Arquitectos

© Luis Asín Lapique

Architects: Suárez Santas Arquitectos
Location: Av. Ingeniería, s/n 41091,
Design Team: Asier Santas Torres, Luis Suárez Mansilla
Client: Sevilla Global. Ayuntamiento de Sevilla
Area: 19970.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photography: Luis Asín Lapique

Seville 24/7 Center Proposal / Ayrat Khusnutdinov & Zhang Liheng

Courtesy of & Zhang Liheng

The Seville 24/7 center, proposed by Ayrat Khusnutdinov & Zhang Liheng, adopts the famous Spanish traditions of street life. Their project would create a retreat from the harsh sun of Andalucia, and extend the street life to 24 hours of the day and 7 days of the week. Seville 24/7 is not only about holiday or cultural side of Seville, but more importantly, everyday human interaction. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Metropol Parasol / J. Mayer H + Arup

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The destruction of the Mercado de la Encarnacion in left a huge void in the urban character of the city center which remained unfilled for over thirty years.  The market enriched the city with life, and with its absence, the vitality of the Plaza de la Encarnacion was soon challenged by the negative implications of economic downturn. In April of 2011,  Jürgen Mayer H and teamed to complete their solution for Seville’s central square – an architecture that brings a contemporary spirit to such a historical and traditional space.  Entitled Metropol Parasol, the massive timber structure (which is one of the largest timber structures built in the world)  draws residents and visitors back to the city center as its striking aesthetic provides a variety of markets and restaurants bounded by the dynamic shape of the parasols.  We enjoyed the video as it illustrates the impact architecture can bring economically and socially to enrich even one of the most established city centers in the world. The ability for the design team to look toward the future allows Seville to preserve its historic cultural prowress while not limiting itself for future greatness.  Special thanks to Marina from Arup for sharing the video with us!

Check out more images of the project after the break, and be sure to read our previous coverage on the project.