ARCH: 402 Rijksmuseum | Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos

Although some might find the Rijksmuseum looks a lot like a Catholic church, the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum was built as a museum. The architect was Pierre Cuypers, a man who created many Catholic churches all over The Netherlands. Cuypers also created the Amsterdam Central Station, you might find they look very similar.

The Rijksmuseum was opened in 1885. But many people were not happy with the result, because it looked old-fashioned and like a Catholic church. The Amsterdam elite was protestant, as was king William III. He said: ‘I will not set foot in that monastery’. He refused to lay the first brick and to perform the opening.

The Rijksmuseum building, outside and inside, is decorated in detail with tile pictures, stained-glass windows, sculptures, mosaic floors and wall paintings. Many of the images depict scenes of important events from Dutch history.

One of the most impressive parts of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum is the library. It’s called Cuypers library. You can really notice the neo-gothic and neo-renaissance style that Pierre Cuypers, the architect loved so much.

Map of the groundfloor of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum. The passage ( goes straight through the middle, passing over the wardrode, the toilets, the ticket office and an underpass to get from one atrium to the other.

The Atrium can be accessed from the passageway, which features glass walls through which passersby can admire the view of the courtyards. The Atrium features large glass-covered roofs and pale polished Portuguese stone floors that reflect the natural light, making the voluminous courtyard spaces feel airy and bright.

Every summer the Rijksmuseum garden turns into a sculpture exhibit. For exampleone of years’ works are by Jean Dubuffet and from the Stedelijk Museum’s collection. The sculptures are bold, colourful, playful perfect for summer. It is a temporary situation.



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