While walking through Amsterdam, it is hard not to notice all the gorgeous and iconic buildings. On one of my walks it made me wonder: What is happening inside them? Why were they built? And by whom? All buildings start as an idea in someones head, it grows and changes over time, filled with a purpose and life.
The canal houses for example, some of the most iconic buildings in Amsterdam, are known all over the world. These houses used to be homes for rich families, mostly merchants, and details like the sizes of the windows and the ornaments told the story of their owners. Mountains of books have been written about the meaning and lives of the people who lived and worked here. This city does not solely contain canal houses, what are the other stories of the other buildings?
A changing horizon
The Amsterdam cityscape has been changing a lot over the years and new iconic buildings have emerged, specifically around the IJ, the river which divides Amsterdam North from the rest of Amsterdam. And this area has been booming.
On the South bank going West an entire neighbourhood named De Houthavens (translates into the wood harbour) has emerged along with a huge square building named De Pontsteiger (which translates into Ferry Pier, because there is a ferry here to cross over the water to the North bank). The Central Station has received a huge makeover. While on the north Shore of Amsterdam the EYE Filmmuseum and the more recently opened A’DAM Toren (tower) have changed the view of the cityscape forever. One particular building has caught my eye. Today I will tell you it’s story.
Open with a great view
Biking along the water on the south shore of the IJ, I noticed the EYE Filmmuseum. If the sun hits this while building directly, certain areas of the museum are darker while other parts bounce back the bright white light. During sundown it can reflect a dreamy pink and orange color. In a way the light makes it an ever changing fluid building. And even the overall shape of the building seems to change from every different angle.
The EYE Filmmuseum emerged in 2012 to become a centre of cinematography and today it is visited by over a million people per year. The building was designed by the architectural Viennese bureau Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. Namely, by the couple Roman Delugan and Elke Delugan-Meissl.
They name it the Oyster of Amsterdam, because they designed it to make it seem as if the building is opening slightly. It is holding back while showing its pearl; an elegant restraint.
This cinematography centre houses a museum, a restaurant, a cinema, a shop and a huge collection of acquired and preserved films, movie posters, projection equipment and more. Whereas the exhibition area is completely inside the shells of its cellars and the back the building, mostly dark and difficult to spot at first glance, the entire arena like café area provides an amazing panoramic view of the city. A huge but calming area where you can reflect on the exhibition and have a coffee while you watch the boats glide by.
Of course beauty is in the EYE of the beholder. Which building inspires you? And what is the story behind it? Please let us know!
Written by Michelle