Keizersgracht 609
C. Outshoorn, Benthem Crouwel
Carl Joseph Fodor
1861, 2002

FOAM Photography Museum

The canal-side building at number 609 Keizersgracht, built in 1716, originally functioned as a warehouse. In 1801, Carl Joseph Fodor, a coal merchant and art collector, bought the building to house his art collection, the first step towards the museological function it has today. He bequeathed the building to the city council in his will, on condition that it be used to display his art collection. The council agreed to this condition and accepted the bequest.

In 1861, a year after Fodor’s death, the building was rebuilt by the architect Cornelis Outshoorn and the existing cornice façade was built in the then current eclectic style. The Fodor Museum then moved into the building, but in 1948 the collection was transferred to a depository and the museum became an annex of the Stedelijk Museum. The Netherlands Design Institute moved into the building in 1993 but left it in 2000.

When the design institute left and the building became available to FOAM, it was radically redeveloped, to a design by Benthem Crouwel, and the two neighbouring buildings were added. The three buildings are now connected by means of elevated walkways, roofs and underground passages, giving rise to a logical museum route. In addition, a reading room has been created in a roofed-over inner courtyard and there is a museum café in one of the basements. (ARCAM/TB)