The artwork restoration studios of the Rijksmuseum are currently located along a canal in the iconic cityscape of Amsterdam. The obsolescence of current premises calls for intervention, although here we chose to flatly deny the demolition/rebuilding that is customary in such a context. Indeed, we feel the urbanism of a city must be constantly renewed through targeted, subtle and intelligent projects that adapt its fabric to current metropolitan conditions. Moreover, it seems important to maintain the continuity of the institute’s activity during renovations in order to minimize impact.
The extension project is designed as an infill in the fabric bordering the canal bend. It connects the two existing buildings; a new access is created in contact with the existing studios and connects work spaces and areas of restoration. The extension opens out like a fan between the existing structures and offers the city a new kinetic façade punctuated by ridges of weathering steel. The sheds extend toward the water to find the light necessary for restorers to carry out their tedious work. Inside, concrete grooving punctuates the studio spaces, softened by the warm tones of the interior woodwork.