A contemporary museum in a monumental warehouse
By roofing over the courtyard of a seventeenth century building to make it suitable for re-use by more than 300.000 visitors per year, we are talking pure sustainability. The city architect of Amsterdam, Daniel Stalpaert realized the country’s Maritime Warehouse in 1656. Today this building has undergone a total metamorphosis. The building has been completely renovated by Liesbeth van der Pol (Dok architecten, general renovation and interior), but still exudes history. It’s now ready to meet the future!
The museum tells inspiring stories of how the sea is in the Dutch genes - shown by various, interactive and stimulating exhibitions and suitable for all ages and all people.
At the same time, Stalpaert's building speaks for itself again. The geometry, which is recognisable in the façade, is reflected in the floor plans and provides a clear orientation. Existing breakthroughs are reused where feasible, in order to allow as much of the building as possible to be enjoyed as it is. The four ressaults are used as rising piers and orientation points, each with its own character and view over the surroundings. By roofing over the courtyard (a design of Laurent Ney), this space has become a point where visitors can orient themselves and select. The jetties around the building are removed, so the sturdy naval warehouse will once more be sited in the water.
An innovative interior
Dok architecten not only produced the drawings for the general renovation of the Maritime Museum, but also for a number of essential elements of the interior: the offices, the restaurant, the rentable rooms such as the Tromp Room and the Admiralty Room, the library and the basement with its sanitary fittings. The exhibitions were designed by a range of national and international designers, including Atelier Brückner, Haley Sharp, Event Design, Hypsos Leisure in collaboration with Studio Tinker and others. Visitors can make their choice between the museum concepts, each housed in their own wing, on the roofed courtyard ‘Het Open Pleyn’. In addition to the eye-catching glass dome (a design by Laurent Ney), the floor finish consists of sustainable, innovative tiled flooring. Dok architecten has developed this acoustic floor in cooperation with Ingenieursbureau LBP Sight - it consists of a nine centimetre thick floor with travertine slabs, and ‘stiletto heel friendly’ cross-shaped openings in between. This has given 'Het Open Pleyn' the appearance of a city square, with brick pavement, while it is also suitable to be used as a concert hall or a festive venue.
Respect for the existing and sustainable recycling
The strength of the 17th century building has been amplified by the reuse of all elements in various places. The stairs have been positioned between the beams, and not straight through them. It has been a conscious decision not to design grand staircases in the stair wells, because those had not been there originally either. Today, you are walking closely along the beam supports, so now and again it is just like you’re touching the seventeenth century. The stair wells are freely accessible right up to the attic floor, to be enjoyed by the public. The vertical risers are connected to the service shafts and the sanitary units. By putting the services within the roof structure under the ridge the services do not take up any space in the building. Air distribution has been facilitated by raising the floors. The offices are located in the attic. Light and pleasant work stations have been created in between the beams. A lot of attention has been paid to sustainability, both in terms of services and the re-use and use of materials. The building has been fitted with a cold-heat storage system and natural materials have been used. Demolition timber from ships has been used for the library’s reading tables and the sanitary installations have been fitted in the eighteenth century’s vaults. Those were discovered during the construction works by the restoration consultants Rappange & Partners, and they are now available to the public for the first time. Emerging from the 'immersion of the museum visit', the visitor shall now again be able to soak up the unexpected beauty of the original building.
overall design (renovatie, horeca, retail, bibliotheek en kantoren): Dok architecten, Amsterdam: Liesbeth van der Pol, Jan Jaap Roeten, Sonja Müller, Ellen Wolse, Christina Patz, Mirthe Kooy, Ieke Koning and others
dome design: Ney & Partners, Brussel (BE): Laurent Ney, Eric Bodarwé, Kenny Verbeeck and others
restauration consultant: Rappange & Partners, Amsterdam: Kees Doornenbal, Bert Wever