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Open Air Museum Arnhem (Openlucht Museum Arnhem)

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CDA

The Dutch open air museum, built in 1912, is magnificiently situated in the sloping landscape of the Arnhem forests.

In front of the museum is a huge ‘copper boulder’ - the "HollandRama".  Visitors enter the museum through a door set into the copper skin.  A moving platform then takes visitors on a journey through Dutch history.

The tour takes in the fears experienced during the second world war, the unique sound of skates on the icy Dutch waters, childhood memories of celebrations on the Queen’s day, the distinctive and warm aroma of hand-crushed coffee beans.  Visitors to the mueseum experience happiness, melancoly, cold, poverty, beauty and sorrow, emotions which colour Dutch history.

Visitors find their way back to the upperworld by walking towards the daylight.  A set of broad stairs bring visitors to the outside world where the extent of the museum, composed of almost 80 buildings, can be seen.  Alternatively, a small set of stairs lead back to the pavilion by a secret pathway.  In both cases visitors are again in the underworld of the upperworld, a world composed of nature and architecture, of flat lines and warm curves, where "warm" materials like copper, wood and loam are used, rather than colder materials such as stone, concrete, steel and glass.

The environment surrounding the new museum has been carefully landscaped.  Boulders, where visitors can sit, are situated along the paths.  The scale of the front office – a small egg – fits between the monumental, big stone of the "HollandRama" and the round roaming sitting stones.  The wall, the egg and a few lonely trees become transformed with the changes in light at the end of each day.

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Building

Completion date: 
2000
Country: 
Netherlands
Zip code: 
6816 SH
City: 
Arnhem
Street: 
Schelmseweg 89
Location: 

Categories

Applications: 
Facades
Roofs
Type of building: 
Cultural
Copper used: 
Pre-oxidised
Estate: 
New

Architect

Name, office: 
Mecanoo Architecten
Address & description: 
Oude delft 2032611 HD Delft

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Nick Hay

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