A Dutch masterpiece

Nick Myall
02 Sep 2015

The new entrance at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is a major step forward for the use of glass as a structural material

Following in the footsteps of the neighbouring Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands has expanded with a new entrance building. The Van Gogh Museum is one of the Netherlands’ most popular museums and the ever-growing stream of visitors requires intelligent solutions for the buildings, which were designed by Rietveld and Kurokawa. For the new entrance building, Kisho Kurokawa architect & associates made a sketch that consists in broad outlines of a further elaboration of the elliptical wing of the building that they had built in Amsterdam in 1999. This idea has been further developed, materialized, and realized in a record speed of 18 months by Hans van Heeswijk Architects. What was a sombre piece of the Museumplein has now become an inviting orientation site.

“Work to move our main entrance to Museumplein has gone very well,” says museum director Axel Rüger. “It has been delivered within the tight 18-month deadline, and on budget. The all-glass entrance hall features high-quality structural engineering and systems. There is a spacious, well-lit foyer with cloakrooms and a revamped museum shop. Improved access, better logistics and more space will allow us to give our visitors a much warmer welcome than before. Moreover, this arrangement better suits the upgraded Museumplein – all its cultural institutions now have their entrances facing the square. The transparent building with its state-of-the-art glass structure enriches both the Van Gogh Museum and Museumplein.”

The new entrance building is the largest glass structure in the Netherlands in which glass fins (beams and mullions) and double glass units are elements of the building´s main structure. This is a major step forward in the technical innovation of transparent structures and for the use of glass as a structural material.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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