Our structural engineering advice, daylight protection advice and lighting design helped renovate and extend the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as it sought to recapture its key position in the art world.
Restoring original character
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.
The renovation involved removing some of the floors that had been added to the building and making new connections between exhibition spaces. Our lighting design brought as much natural light as possible into these spaces 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 the ground level, with the old building visible through the glass-encased ground floor.
This transparent ground floor houses an information centre, library, shop and restaurant with terrace. It also forms the new museum entrance.
Above this, the new superstructure has two levels - a large exhibition pace and auditorium on the lower level with offices above.
Six points of support
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 made it possible to create a large open space for exhibitions.
The optimisation of the structure, defining details such as the location of the bearing points and the trusses, was a collaboration between Arup and Benthem Crouwel.