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100088 Bejing / China
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Office: info@nextarchitects.com
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Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers with Esmee Bais and Joep Esselink (NEXT); Amanda Levete and Ho-Yin Ng (AL_A); Bastiaan van de Kraats (1meter98)
Municipality of Amsterdam / Amsterdam Museum
Renovation museum
Amsterdam / NL
AL_A and 1meter98
11.800 m2
Special thanks
Jephta Dullaart / Het Erfgoedkabinet (heritage), Arjan Habraken (constructor), Pascal Kaandorp (sust

How can we give form to a city museum that wants to simultaneously tell about the past and the future? This was the main question for the transformation of the Amsterdam Museum. Since 1975 this museum is located in the monumental buildings of the former Orphanage of Amsterdam. The museum has the ambition to develop into a ‘network museum’, bringing the stories of Amsterdam to life throughout the city. Yet, the museum is currently a fortress-like island, isolated from the street and from the city. In order to make the location sustainable for the future, the accessibility of the building complex must be thoroughly improved.

In the new Amsterdam Museum a visit can be much more than viewing the collection. Website visits, a walk through the courtyard or a debate in the auditorium are also ways in which visitors can experience the museum. Therefore, a design for the museum for the future goes far beyond the walls of the building. We design a limitless building; a museum as a lively place that becomes integral part of the city. 

The connection between museum and city starts on the ground floor: this is the place where the network enters the museum. By moving the collection to the first floor, the ground floor becomes a public area. This intervention blurs the distinction between the street and the museum and brings culture into the city. Another important intervention consisted in creating a new heart in the middle of the buildings complex. This is the place where everything begins and comes together. The museum becomes becomes a place for encounters where disparate activities can be organised. The natural routing and the open, visual connections between the different programmes, incite visitors to explore the building.

The Amsterdam Museum is an institution where the values and identity of Amsterdam are interwoven with the building, collection and mission. The heroes are the citizens themselves and it is their stories that are told and shown. This is why, through different interventions, we create a museum that is connected with the city and with the different experiences of the visitors.