The starting signal was given on 16 April 2014 by Stef Blok, Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector, together with Axel Rüger, Director of the Van Gogh Museum: construction of the new entrance building of the Van Gogh Museum could begin. The new entrance will open onto the Museumplein. Axel Rüger commented: ‘I’m pleased that our museum will be provided with such a spectacular new entrance on the side of the Museum Square. It will be a transparent and open glass structure with technically superior glass constructions. A new entrance with a larger service area will make the museum more accessible to more visitors in the near future. Moreover, this way we bring our museum more in line with the other cultural institutes whose access is also situated on the side of the Museumplein. The entrance is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015. The Van Gogh Museum will remain open to the public during the entire building period.’ The construction of the new entrance will be realized by the Government Buildings Agency, owner of the museum building.
The open and transparent glass entrance building consists of the latest technical state-of-the-art glass constructions. This includes 650 m2 of cold-bent glass, 12-meter long glass rafters and 9.4-meter long glass anchors in the façade. The sketch design is by Japanese architects Kisho Kurokawa Architect and Associates. This is the office of the deceased Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa who also designed the beautiful exhibition wing that was opened in 1999. The details of the design as developed by Hans van Heeswijk Architects show the wing fusing with the new entrance to create a refreshing new aspect to the building as a whole.
The new entrance building offers many benefits. It brings the Van Gogh Museum perfectly into line with the other two museums on Museumplein. Both the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum have moved their entrances to Museumplein.
The new service area provides better access to the Rietveld building and the Kurokawa Wing of the Van Gogh Museum. The additional 800 square meters will improve the visitor flow and provide more space for good reception of and service to visitors. This will make the museum better equipped to receive the growing number of visitors in the future. There will also be more possibilities to organise larger meetings and receptions.
The museum is largely financing this construction project itself. Of the total €17 million required to cover the construction costs, over €10 million had been raised at the start in April from our own financial resources and thanks to support from, among others, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OC&W), the BankGiro Lottery, the City of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam South District of the City of Amsterdam, Yanmar, the Elise Mathilde Fund and various foundations and private individuals.