Museum for the city
The new Amsterdam Museum will be an open, friendly place where visitors and residents can get to know Amsterdam in a museum setting that is closely connected to the neighborhood, the city, and its inhabitants. The changes will be most noticeable within the museum building. The new Amsterdam Museum is expected to open in 2025, on the occasion of the city’s 750th anniversary.
Path to the new museum
Since 1975, the museum has occupied the former City Orphanage on the Kalverstraat. Its location in the heart of the old city and the rich history of this heritage monument make it an ideal place for the Amsterdam Museum. In order to realize the museum’s ambitions for future generations at this spot, substantial improvements are needed. The design by Neutelings Riedijk Architecten is based on four principles: space for the collection and the public, accessibility, visibility, and sustainability.
Preparations for the renovation are already in full swing. More information about the plans can be found on this website. Scroll to the bottom of this page to download a detailed brochure and the available press information. As time goes on, additional information will be added to the site.
About the building
The building on the Kalverstraat has been continuously adapted and remodeled by its users over the past centuries. Throughout this period, it has grown along with the needs of its inhabitants: the nuns of the St. Lucien Cloister, the children of the City Orphanage, and the visitors to the Amsterdam Museum. This heritage monument and its location tell uniquely Amsterdam stories. These are still legible in the building today, whether in the historical configuration of dwellings, in the gates and courtyards, or in the facades designed by Jacob van Campen. All of these parts will be preserved in the new design.
A building full of history
The former City Orphanage is the perfect location for the museum, but it was never intended to actually be a museum. Its limitations are both problematic and an obstacle to a 21st-century visitor experience. Accessibility for people with physical disabilities is limited by the height differences between floors and the current routing.
Due to the restricted dimensions of the rooms, it is impossible to show all of the pieces from the collection. Large masterworks are now housed elsewhere—such as in the Hermitage Amsterdam—or remain in storage. Also, major modernization is required in terms of daylighting, climate, and sustainability. These necessary interventions will be implemented with respect for the building’s value as heritage and based on careful considerations by experts, local residents, and interest groups.
What will happen?
The new museum includes larger museum galleries with more space for the collection, temporary presentations, and education. New, well-equipped and multifunctional working and reception areas as well as an auditorium will be added, all suitable for dialogue, workshops, and learning. The building has a clear routing that allows access to all parts, including heritage areas such as the authentic historical vault—which is currently not open to the public—and the Regentenkamer. The design provides an intuitive routing with a beginning, middle, and end. In addition, the museum will be optimally accessible for everyone, from top to bottom, including visitors with a physical disability. Major modernization efforts must also be undertaken with respect to daylighting, climate, and sustainability.
Open to the city
The new museum will be more easily recognizable and accessible to all visitors. On the ground level around the courtyards and on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, public functions such as a museum restaurant, auditorium, and educational areas will be added. The windows and doors of the heritage building, which are now often covered and closed, will be opened up again. In this way the museum offers an inviting face to the city and brings life to the courtyards and street.
Enhancing the historical layout of dwellings and courtyards
The design is based on a thorough analysis of the building’s history. The characteristic layout of the heritage monument consists of dwellings situated around courtyards, accessed by a gate. Previously it functioned as a “village within the city.” This configuration is still recognizable today, and will be preserved and enhanced in the new design. The new main entrance is situated in the middle of the complex, so every visitor enters through one of the gates and discovers the courtyards before stepping into the building. The new parts of the building are integrated in the historical configuration and match the existing cityscape with their pitched roofs.
A new heart for the Amsterdam Museum
The Stadshal is the new public entrance hall and will form the heart of the new museum. It is a double-height space with a grandstand staircase and visitor facilities such as wardrobe, restrooms, shop, coffee bar, information desk, and admissions counter. The circuit through the Stadshal is freely accessible. Like the Amsterdam Gallery is now, this area is open to everyone and a ticket is not required. The Stadshal allows access to the oldest part of the building, the underground vault, where the new museum route begins and ends.
Space for the collection
The Amsterdam Museum cares for the historical city collection, comprising around 100,000 highly diverse objects—from huge to miniature, and from every period of the city’s history. Some works, such as the 17th-century group portraits, are so large that showing them in the current building is impossible. The design therefore includes five new galleries. New structural sections will be fitted in three places, inserted like new houses into the historical layout, yet invisible from the inner courtyards.
An intuitive museum route
Along the museum route is a mix of old and new, and there is ample space for telling stories from the city’s past, present, and future. The route will be a continuous, one-way path, so visitors can easily find their way. The historic interiors, such as the Regentenzaal, which is difficult to find in the current arrangement, will be incorporated in this accessible route. On the first floor, the visitor walks around the Meisjesplaats (Girls’ Courtyard). The highlight of the route is the Great Hall, located above the Stadshal. This is where the most exemplary pieces from the collection can be appreciated to their fullest. Before concluding their visit with the presentations around the Jongensplaats (Boys’ Courtyard), visitors can step outside and enjoy a vista over the city, the primary subject of the museum, seen between the old rooftops.
A sustainable monument
Using an existing building is more sustainable than new construction. The preservation of national heritage is an essential part of the assignment as well. The older parts of the building will be restored in collaboration with restoration specialists TPAGH Architecten. The design will be developed by a comprehensive design team and its construction will adhere to the most current insights regarding sustainability. This includes the installation of a ground source heat pump and, where possible, fitting the building with solar panels. The technical equipment uses little electricity and water, and rainwater is stored to irrigate the courtyards. Even the landscaping around the viewpoint contributes to water storage and heat regulation. Ultimately, the material use will be as circular and sustainable as possible: the new structures are mostly made of wood and CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber, a type of engineered wood), while the interior finishes are made of recycled material where possible. The design is based on the BREEAM In-Use Excellent certification.
Are you a member of the press and do you have questions about this information? Or would you like make an appointment for further details? Please contact the Amsterdam Museum at email@example.com or call 020 5231 822 (Janine Fluyt, spokesperson). Press information and image material can be downloaded below.
The artist impressions provided by Neutelings Riedijk Architecten are intended to give a general idea of the design. The images therefore do not represent an exact rendering of the actual situation in the future.
Information in English (pdf)