Nationaal Historisch Museum

Nationaal Historisch Museum

Architect
Rene van Zuuk Architekten B.V.
Location
Almere, Netherlands
Project Year
2007
Category
Museums
René van Zuuk Architekten

National Historic Museum

Rene van Zuuk Architekten B.V. as Architects

The Dutch government would like to build a new museum that traces Dutch history. Several cities have shown interest in this project, including the Hague, Amsterdam, and Almere. This proposal is the design proposition commissioned by the city of Almere.


“Almere, the youngest city in the the Netherlands, was built on new ground reclaimed from the sea. This unique position creates the possibility of taking an objective view toward Dutch history, both mentally and physically, as history has not yet left a mark on the city. The location of the project should amplify the complete independence that creates a real distance from the rest of the Netherlands. The location is actually placed in the water. That is why it is set in front of the coast of Almere Pampus. Due to this choice the National Historic Museum stands apart from its country and heritage and obtains the space it needs to stay unbiased.”


“The museum rests on the coast of Almere; she flickers in the water and has a thin misty cloud around her. She is a mystical object in the water with a certain tension and dynamic. Curiosity takes you from the road on the mainland and puts you on a voyage into history. With every step you take you become increasingly entangled in the web of Dutch history. The building is an appealing beacon filled with this history. It has left the mainland to review the country and its history from a distance. The museum’s dynamic shape is unusual, but the theatrical appearance makes it a "must see” experience for the Netherlands.”


“Inside the museum the building consists of one long line broken into fragments. It is this long line that tells the story of our history and encloses the objects on display. It is also the red carpet that forms the entranceway and welcomes visitors. The museum boat from Amsterdam anchors here, buses drive over it, and it is a parking lot for visitors that arrive by car. Visitors are guided through a long walkway that explains the whole of Dutch history until they come to the central entrance hall that is situated in the heart of the museum. The hall is the central space the museum route has been wrapped around; it contains the official entrance and a library which is free to use. This is a place where you are confronted with your environment again, a place in the present where you can reflect on the past. In this space you have a good view of the route that runs above you and tells the story of our history. Apart from the private museum route there is a route in the rest space of the building. This route is at the top of the first route and provides a direct connection to the mainland. The museum is thus freely accessible to pedestrians from the mainland.. This special space can contain larger objects that are weather resistant and can be seen as the museum garden of the National Historic Museum.”


“Within the design of the museum there are two different arrangement possibilities for the museum routes. In the first case the museum is a single continuum in which the exhibition is one ongoing walk downwards. In the second case, the museum has cabinets holding exhibits in several spaces all connected via staircases in the central hall. Both arrangements create a versatile museum that can be used for a wide range of exhibitions. ”

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