In 2016, the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. For thirty years now, the city of Amsterdam has been the focus of the collection of this country’s first architecture centre. An excellent moment to look back at the spatial and social developments that have made the city, and thus our collection, what it is today.
The exhibition ‘From Stopera to A’DAM Tower’ spotlights a key event or building for each year from the centre’s year of foundation, 1986, up to and including 2016. Thirty icons – documented using models, photographs, videos and unique archive material – together form a framework that will evoke memories for Amsterdammers and lovers of Amsterdam, young and old, while also generating new insights and surprises.
In 1986, the Stopera opened its doors following a sixty year trajectory that culminated in a controversial decision and design that is still topical today: plans for its reuse as a market hall were recently unveiled. Superb photographic material from Amsterdam City Archives documents the controversy.
The first study into the North/South metro line was commissioned in 1989. The turbulent developments that followed are shown in a timeline. Also on show in the exhibition is a cutting tooth that was used in the excavation process.
In 1996, work commenced on the construction of the ABN AMRO headquarters, thereby laying the foundation stone of the Zuidas development. The model of this 105 metre high tower tells the story of the relocation of Amsterdam’s financial heart from the city centre to this new business district.
Unique archive material surrounding the referendum on IJburg in 1997 sheds light on the project’s opposition, which, with 60 per cent against, 40 per cent in favour, had achieved a majority. However, because the turnout was too low, 41 per cent, the development of IJburg was given the go-ahead.
2003 saw the closure of the Rijksmuseum’s main building. This proved to be the starting shot for the refurbishment and extension of the city’s other major museums. Tourists had nowhere to go but fortunately that same year the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture relocated to a new, sculptural building on Prins Hendrikkade. Originally built by Renzo Piano as a viewing platform for NEMO, this landmark in the surrounding area was designed and transformed by René van Zuuk Architects. A timelapse of the Rijksmuseum shows the ten-year refurbishment by Cruz y Ortiz.
The exhibition concludes with the A’DAM Toren (Tower). The official opening of the A’DAM Toren in Shell’s former headquarters marked a major step in the transformation of the IJ waterfront into a new urban centre. Before and after photos show the metamorphosis of the Northern IJ waterfront.