After ten years of rebuilding, renovation and restoration, the Rijksmuseum will open on 13 April 2013. When it does the public will experience a wholly new museum that has been dramatically transformed by Spanish architect Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos and French interior architect Jean Michel Wilmotte, known for his work at the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay.
The architects have restored the museum’s original Pierre Cuypers 19th century neo-Gothic building- reinstating its clear plan, its decorative touches, and high volumed galleries- while adding a 7,100 sq ft pavilion for Asian art and a new ‘outdoor museum’ in the form of a 14,500 sq ft garden. The addition takes the pressure off the main building providing much needed ‘breathing room’ and more gallery space to display more of the Rijksmuseum’s world famous collection, which in addition to four Vermeers and twenty Rembrants, including the Night Watch, includes a rare white Rietveld chair.
The presentation of the collection is also new. For the first time ever, visitors will be able to take a chronological journey through the museum’s 80 galleries and 8,000 works of art and historical objects that are arranged to tell the story of Dutch art and history from 1,200 to the present day. The €375m project is the first major reworking of the Rijksmuseum’s facilities and rethinking of its collection since it opened in 1885.