When it comes to a museum dedicated to contemporary art and design, the architecture of the building is almost as important as the artworks contained within it. And in this respect, the newly updated Stedelijk Museum, which was completed in 2012 after eight years of renovation and construction, doesn’t disappoint; the museum’s extension is certainly eye-catchingly modern. Resembling a floating bathtub, the Benthem Crouwel-designed new space adds 130,000 square feet to the historic red and white striped brick museum, which first opened its doors in 1895.
The Stedelijk remains one of the world’s pioneering modern and contemporary art and design museums, with its white-box interiors emulated in institutions around the world over the past hundred years. The pieces on display – ranging from installations and photography to paintings – rotate, allowing visitors to see as much of the impressive collection as possible; Van Gogh, Rothko, Matisse, Chagall, and de Kooning are amongst the laudable artists exhibited.
With so much to see, both inside and out, it’s easy to make a day of a visit here, especially as the on-site Restaurant Stedelijk serves delicious meals and snacks and a tempting well-stocked wine cellar.