EYE Film Instituut Vondelpark

Vondelpark 3
W. Hamer, J. van Stigt
Cultuur, Leisure

EYE (film institute Netherlands) is currently located in the Vondelpark Pavilion in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, the lowest point in the city. The building was designed as a café-restaurant with landlord’s dwelling by the architect W. Hamer. It was built for the ‘society for the creation of a riding and promenade park’ in Amsterdam and is in Italian Renaissance style. The former restaurant has Ionic columns and arched windows. The corners of the building are embellished with domed towers.

After it was opened, the pavilion became a meeting place for Amsterdam’s bohemians and an exhibition space for modern art. Originally, there were three large rooms, each of which could accommodate approximately one hundred visitors, with ancillary spaces on the ground floor. In 1924, H. de Graaff commissioned the redevelopment of the building. The old entrance stairs to the first floor and the entrance were demolished, enabling public spaces to be created on the ground floor.

In 1946, Jan de Vaal, a film collector, was appointed director of the Netherlands Historical Film Archives, which had been founded by the students’ cinema Kriterion. Following the amalgamation with the archives of the cinema de Uitkijk, in 1952 the Netherlands Film Museum came into being. The museum was located in Kriterion and the Stedelijk Museum, where films were also screened. In 1972, De Vaal succeeded in acquiring space in the Vondelpark Pavilion and since 1975 the Netherlands Film Museum has been the sole user of the building. Following a merger at the end of 2009, the Film Museum was renamed EYE Film Institute Netherlands. In 2012, EYE is to relocate to a new building on the northern IJ waterfront. (ARCAM/TB)