Following a ten-year renovation, the Rijksmuseum is finally re-opening its Dutch doors this month.
The Spanish architecture firm Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos has transformed the 19th-century building into a 21st century museum, through years of rebuilding, restoration and renovation – never before has a national museum undergone such a complete modernisation.
Cruz y Ortiz have restored the high, spacious, late 19th century galleries to their former glory and created an impressive new entrance area suitable for the needs of a leading international museum. The architects have also added a completely new structure, the Asian Pavilion. Surrounded by water and with a façade of glass and Portuguese stone, the Asian Pavilion showcases objects from China and Japan, Indonesia and India, Vietnam and Thailand, dating from 2000 BC to 2000 AD.
The French interior architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, whose work in the Louvre has earned him international acclaim, has designed and chosen furnishings for the gallery.
The presentation of the Rijksmuseum’s world famous collection has also changed. Visitors can now follow a chronological sequence of 80 galleries featuring 8,000 works of art and objects that tell the story of 800 years of Dutch history, from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The Rijksmuseum has also added a 14,500 square-metre historic garden. Based on a 1901 design by Pierre Cuypers, the museum’s architect, its new layout was created by the Dutch landscape architecture firm Copijn. A Henry Moore exhibition will open in the garden on 21 June 2013, the first in an annual series of international sculpture exhibitions to be held each