The collection of The National Maritime Museum has one of the most notable maritime collections in the world and offers a plethora of objects of Dutch Martime history from the past, present and gives a wink to the future. The monumental building was designed by Daniel Stalpaert as a warehouse of the Admiralty of Amsterdam (1656) when the city was the largest port in the world. In 2011 the building is restored to its former glory.
The compass rose was the inspiration for the glass roof of the courtyard (Ney&partners). A play of light and dark casts a treasure map of lines on the whitewashed wall. The interplay of lines is extensively implemented and is also visible in the museum’s online and offline marketing communications. The building is sustainable and energy efficient.The heating installations are connected to an ATES source (an innovative open-loop geothermal technology that relies on seasonal storage of cold and/or warm groundwate in an aquifer). The heat from the museum display cases is conducted to the courtyard in winter and provides sufficient heat.
Dok architects modernised the building, while retaining the feeling of a 17th-century warehouse (restoration vision contrast). By removing later installed intermediate floors and having bricked arches broken open, old sight lines were restored. There is a strong emphasis on these round arches, that give the building an own identity. New materials as glass and metal emphasise the tough character of the building. The objects are playfully arranged in display cases; ship models, commercial products, old sea charts, figureheads, goblets give an impression of the maritime collection.
Travel through a bustling harbour — just as it was in the ‘Dutch golden age’. The Scheepvaartmuseum uses virtual reality to boost user experience. You can look around on board of the VOC ship Amsterdam as if you were actually there.
Inside the building you will enjoy some interesting vistas as well, such as on one of the most famous paintings of the 17th century. ‘Battle of Gibraltar’, the largest painting in the collection. It is a showpiece that tells us about an important episode in Dutch History. Our first victory over the Spaniards. A stepping stone towards an own identity as sovereign country. The combination with a canon, makes this vista also almost 3D.