Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © John Lewis Marshall

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © Benthem Crouwel Architects

Site plan courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects

Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum’s original brick building was built in 1895. Thanks to its new extension, it now joins other important civic institutions (the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw) in facing the museum plaza located in the Old South district.

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © John Lewis Marshall

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © Benthem Crouwel Architects

Ground floor plan courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects

The newly-built extension hovers on its piloti, inviting visitors from the plaza to enter its glazed ground floor lobby. Visitors can choose to go into the exhibition spaces in the old brick building – it’s facade is clearly separated from the new addition – or go upstairs to see exhibitions in the new galleries above. An additional 1,100 m2 (11,840 ft2) is contained below ground, in a subterranean exhibition hall extending out under the public plaza.

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © John Lewis Marshall

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © John Lewis Marshall

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © Benthem Crouwel Architects

Second floor plan courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © Benthem Crouwel Architects

Third floor plan courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects

The visitors can freely move between the old and new buildings on both levels.

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © John Lewis Marshall

JA+U : Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam by Benthem Crouwel Architects © Benthem Crouwel Architects

Cross section courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects

The new building's exterior – composed of white composite fiber – has a seam at the same height as old building's cornice, where the walls and roof seem to marry like two halves of a mold. It’s a technique that recalls the fiberglass follies of fellow Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout.

On the south side (plaza side), this seam grows into a wing-like cantilevered canopy that shades the plaza in front of the museum's entrance.

Below is an excerpt from architects' description:

An information centre, the library, a museum shop and a restaurant with terrace on Museumplein are to occupy the transparent addition. Below the square, the main feature will be a large exhibition hall of some 1100 m2. From this lowest level in the building it is possible to move to a new exhibition hall in the floating volume level. Via two escalators in an enclosed "tube", straight through the new entrance hall, the exhibition room in the hovering volume is directly connected to the main exhibition hall of the original building. This way the visitor crosses the entrance area without leaving the exhibition route and without being distracted by the public functions: visitors remain in the museum atmosphere.

The Weissman building is reinstated in its former glory as it embarks on a new life facing Museumplein, under one roof with the new addition.