By Eva Maria Elisabeth Mennes.
The CEO of the architect office Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos of Seville, Mr. Antonio Cruz and director of the project gave an extremely interesting power point presentation of the renovation of the Rijksmuseum for the members of the Spanish community. The event was organized by Cruz y Ortiz and the Spanish Association of Professionals in the Netherlands chaired by Mr. Rogelio Vargas Sánchez, who is also the director of the Spanish Agency of International Trade. Project architect of Cruz y Ortiz, Mrs. Muriel Huisman showed us the building, and at the same time we had the chance to view the beautiful arte facts of the museum. Following a European tender process, the Spanish architects Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos of Seville were chosen by a committee chaired by the chief government architect Jo Coenen to lead the transformation of the Rijksmuseum. Cruz y Ortiz proposed minimal alterations to the building itself.
The firm has recreated the clear layout conceived by the museum’s original architect, Pierre Cuypers, stripping the building of its later transformations to ensure that it is once again a coherent whole. By adding a floor under the existing building the new Rijksmuseum features now an impressive new entrance area. Added were firther a new Asian Pavilion, a new outdoor exhibition space and garden, state-of-the-art facilities including new dining spaces, a shop, a restored library and auditorium; renewed education facilities, a new service entrance, a separate building for the conservation of the collection; and climate-control and security features, which are in line with today’s requirements. The result transforms the 19th century building into a bright and spacious 21st century museum.