From elderly care home to international museum along the banks of the Amstel river

The conversion of the former Amstelhof nursing home into the Hermitage museum on the Amstel river was a very complex job, but has resulted in a stunning building.

The Amstelhof is located in the city centre of Amsterdam, along the banks of the Amstel river. The building forms a link in the series of public buildings situated along the Amstel river banks: Stopera, Hermitage, Carre Theatre and the Amstelhotel. Our agency has been involved in all these projects during the last decades. For 324 years the Amstelhof has been a home for elderly care. The foundation was already restored during a renovation back in the 1970s.

As the building was now to have a new function, and become a museum instead of an elderly home, the changeable floor loading had to be increased. Instead of 1.5 kN/m2 at the time, to 4.0 kN/m2 currently. We aimed to find ways of amending parts of the concrete construction that did not meet the requirements, without detracting from the building’s monumental status. In order to do this almost all floors needed to be reinforced and extra support struts have been put in where required.

The layout of the building has been completely altered. It has been transformed from a building with  small rooms and many hallways to a building with great open spaces with among others the foyer, an auditorium and a café/restaurant. Also the layout of the two exhibition wings is new. Construction-wise many extra passages had to be made in the steel frame support walls and also in the floors.

It was officially opened on 19 June 2009 by (then) Queen Beatrix. It was a great honour to be invited there as a guest, having worked on the project as the structural engineer.

Tags: Amsterdam, office building / offices, museum, redevelopment, renovation, leasure / hospitality, monument

Location Amsterdam
Client Hermitage aan de Amstel Foundation
Architect Hans van Heeswijk Architecten
Contractor Construction company M.J. de Nijs & Zonen BV
Advisers interior architects – Merckx + Girod architects
Climate control Deerns raadgevende ingenieurs BV
Project management Het Oosten Kristal BV
Project start 2005
Realisation 2007
Completion 2009
Function Museum
Particulars National monument and historic building
Construction costs 39 million
Function Van Rossum Main structural engineer


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