benthem crouwel architects stedelijk museum

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dutch firm benthem crouwel architects are responsible for the recent renovation to the stedelijk museum located in amsterdam. 

originally designed by a.w. weissman, the building is known for its palatial rooms, natural lighting and, in particular, the impressive 

staircase adorning the core of the space. these native elements have been preserved, as well as the characteristic white coloring introduced 

by former director willem sandberg. the current structure is not only left almost completely unsullied, but more proudly flaunted by lifting 

part of the new volume higher and submerging the remainder underground. 


the entry to the museum has been relocated to the open area of museumplein filling a spacious translucent extension. 

the fluid white structure above the entrance is affectionately termed ‘the bathtub’ featuring a sleek organic aesthetic composed of 

reinforced fiber, complemented by a canopy audaciously extending out into the cityscape. 


with the original edifice as a backdrop, the new seamless construction becomes the commanding symbol representing the stedelijk museum.

next to the entrance, a museum shop and the restaurant are located in the transparent volume on ground level. 

these are accompanied by a knowledge centre, a library and a large exhibition hall of 1100 m2. two exhibition spaces are linked by two escalators 

in an enclosed tube-like skin, through this, a visitor is able to cross the entrance area without leaving the exhibition passage and also without 

disturbing public functions - allowing guests to remain within the distinctive atmosphere of the museum. 


the interior of the old and new spaces are indistinguishable, making the otherwise powerful contrast between the two barely noticeable 

when moving through the museum. the weissman building is brought to life under a single roof with the new striking addition.