Sunday, January 27, 2013

10 Year Wait Is Almost Over, Rijksmuseum

View from Rijksmuseum towards Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Nancy Charak, photographer
At the head of one of the finest and most people friendly public spaces in the world, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is finally coming to the end of a 10-year renovation that had much of the building closed off, including the famous pass through the building that the cyclists used.

The space is anchored at one end by the Rijksmuseum, the other end by the Concert Gebouw and flanked by the Van Gogh Museum and the newly reconstructed Stedelijk around a pond and a greensward, it invites all sorts of public interaction, frisbee, sun-bathing, cycling around its vast perimeter away from traffic, open air cafes, souvenir stands, fountains, dogs, roller bladers and an infinity of tourists and Dutch punctuated by the clanging of the trams.

The Rijksmuseum was a warren of rooms that had been made progressively smaller as time went by to accommodate an ever increasing inventory of art; renovating the existing building removed the clutter, even the original interior courtyards had been sacrificed in the need for more space. To gain space, the architects went under the building, a challenge given the wet soils of the city.

Here's a review and a slide show from Architectural Record by Tracy Metz.
The Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum, Nancy Charak, photographer

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