This project is located at a private site, close to the ‘Rijksmuseum’ in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. At the corner of the ‘Ruisdaelkade’ and the ‘Stadhouderskade’ there is a small triangular shaped plot , which is partly surrounded by an old brick wall. The Dutch foundation for Art and public space is based there. In front of their office building there is a small cellar which was once used to store water. The owners of the plot asked themselves if this old concrete cellar could be transformed into a multifunctional and pleasant space.
This project started by analyzing the existing situation in order to explore and exploit the hidden potential of the building as much as possible. In terms of program it was vitally important that the transformed cellar had to be interesting for the tenant as well as for the landlord. This meant that the building had to contain multifunctional spaces which offer qualities for all kind of artistic expressions. At the same time the space had to be flexible enough to eventually change function in the future.
The context – mostly the wall surrounding the site – offered unique possibilities. By integrating a row of trees in the existing green structure, a modest avenue offers an appropriate entrance to the cellar.
The plan itself is characterized by its simplicity. A multifunctional and transparent volume has been placed inside the existing structure. This space can be used for exhibitions, lectures, workshops or debates. This transparent space is meant to stimulate the dialogue as well as being an intimate area where artists can work in privacy. This new structure has been detached from the old cellar wall. In this way daylight can enter the old cellar and the original and raw characteristics of the walls can be preserved.