Amsterdam. Opening is celebrated with a labyrinth of 125,000 sunflowers on Amsterdam’s Museumplein

To mark the opening, a gigantic labyrinth made up of 125,000 sunflowers had been created on Museumplein. The labyrinth contained three Van Gogh inspiration rooms where visitors could enjoy performances by singer-songwriters, among other things.

The history of the Van Gogh Museum’s architecture is an interesting one. The main building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, opened in 1973. Architect Kisho Kurokawa’s exhibition wing was completed in 1999. Other designers have also contributed to the rebuilding and renovation of the building. In the spring of 2014 a start was made on the construction of a new entrance foyer on Museumplein. For the new entrance building, Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates made a sketch that consists in broad outlines of a further elaboration of the elliptical wing of the building that they had built in Amsterdam in 1999. This idea is further developed, materialized, and realized by Hans van Heeswijk Architects.

By enclosing the existing empty “sunken pond” on its Museumplein side, the Van Gogh Museum has gained 800 square metres of floor space. This new entrance hall offers numerous benefits. The neighbouring Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum have recently relocated their main entrances to face Museumplein, and now the Van Gogh Museum is following suit.
The open and transparent entrance hall has been built using the very latest glass construction techniques and contrasts wonderfully with the solid outer wall of the temporary exhibitions wing. Its frontage consists of 650 square metres of cold bent glass, with 30 so-called “roof fins” – also in glass and up to 12 metres in length – and 20 glass columns up to 9.4 metres high, all mounted on a load-bearing structure containing 65 tonnes of steel.