News — 6 Sep 2016

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam reveals plans for a revised layout, scheduled for completion at the end of May 2017.

Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk Museum, explains: “For an ambitious museum such as the Stedelijk, redesigning the building’s layout is indispensable. Our goal is not to be a static museum, but to be a dynamic, perpetually self-renewing institute, and always maximise our visitors’ experience. The revised spatial design allows us to use our collection to tell the stories relevant to today, with even greater impact.”

Starting next year, the lower-level space and a number of first floor galleries will be devoted to a permanent survey of highlights from the Stedelijk collection, presenting art and design side by side. Also large-scale changing exhibits will occupy the first floor – which has already accommodated such landmark shows as Living in the Amsterdam School, Marlene Dumas, The Oasis of Matisse, and Malevich. The ground floor will focus on smaller, flexible, relevant exhibitions that tie in with the collection and include new acquisitions, updates on research and restorations, and presentations exploring topical themes. This three-part grouping draws on four years’ experience with the building, understanding how to use the space to display artworks to best advantage, and identifying how visitors circulate throughout the building. One of the advantages of the renewed layout is that, visitors will know they can always expect to see the collection presentation in the same place, and explore a story tracing the synchronous development of modern art and design in a single gallery circuit.

The plans are part of the four-yearly subsidy that is provided in the framework of the Arts Plan, and the Stedelijk is delighted that the Amsterdam Arts Council endorses the proposed spatial vision. The new presentation system for both the Stedelijk’s fine art and design holdings will be designed by OMA, the architectural practice of Rem Koolhaas. Mels Crouwel, the architect of the new wing, will be involved in an advisory capacity.

Listen to the radio interview of NPO Radio 1 (partly in Dutch) with director Beatrix Ruf and architect Mels Crouwel