EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam – Delugan Meissl Architects
The EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam is a museum and cultural institution committed to presenting, conserving, and promoting films and cinematography.
EYE is located in the Overhoeks neighborhood, on Amsterdam’s harbor, and has been housed in an iconic building designed by Austrian architectural firm Delugan Meissl since 2012.
The institute is both a conservation center and an exhibition venue; its collection is composed of about 37,000 films, as well as photos, soundtracks, historical documents, and technical equipment, related to Dutch and international cinema.
The cultural program of EYE features thematic temporary exhibitions (typically 4 per year), screenings, guided tours, educational activities, workshops, and special events.
The permanent exhibition of the EYE, located in the building basement, presets the museum’s large collection through many interactive exhibits and also includes a gallery, entitled Playground, specially tailored for kids and families.
Along with exhibition spaces, the EYE museum building, fully accessible to physically impaired visitors, contains 4 cinemas, a specialized library, a panoramic cafe-restaurant, and a shop.
The architecture of the EYE Filmmuseum by Delugan Meissl
The EYE Filmmuseum futuristic building marks out the IJ river’s north embankment opposite Amsterdam’s Central rail station.
More than a museum, EYE is a complex center dedicated to film and cinema in a broad sense; along with being a permanent and temporary exhibition venue, it is also a research center, a film repository, a cinema complex, and a popular socializing and meeting space. The center also includes a film restoration facility in a separate building.
Photos by Ralph Richter, courtesy of EYE Filmmuseum
Inaugurated in April 2012, the EYE Filmmuseum was designed by Vienna-based practice Delugan Meissl Associated Architects on the Ij-promenade in the Overhoeks district of Amsterdam. Although the site is a bit cluttered by the presence of an over-imposing glass tower nearby, the riverside location and the relation with the adjacent Oeverpark garden contribute to making the EYE shiny aluminum-clad shape of EYE an iconic presence in the city.
Top: photo by Ralph Richter, courtesy of EYE Filmmuseum
Bottom: photo by Remo Ferraguto
From the outside, the museum presents a sequence of sloped surfaces that makes it looks like a giant sculpture and anticipates the fluid interiors of the building, which Delugan Meissl designed as a “solidified” path flowing seamlessly from one functional space to another.
Top: photo by Waag Society; bottom: photo by Wojtek Gurak
As mentioned earlier, EYE is a museum that, on a gross floor area of 8,700 square meters, houses a variety of functions.
After crossing the entrance lobby, the visitors enter the Arena, an open-access large stepped space, overlooking the river also provided with a panoramic café-restaurant, which represents the social core of the building.
The Arena; top: photo by Ralph Richter, courtesy of EYE Filmmuseum
middle and bottom: photos by Tina Monumentalia
The center accommodates two main exhibition areas. A 1,300-square-meter permanent exhibition gallery is located in the basement and equipped with interactive installations – presenting to the visitors the large films, objects, and documents collection of the museum-, and a gallery specifically aimed at children, the Playground. The EYE Filmmuseum temporary exhibition space is located on the second floor and houses thematic and monographic exhibitions on cinema, such as those dedicated in the past to Stanley Kubrick and David Cronenberg.
Four small to medium-sized cinemas are located on three of the four levels of the EYE, with the largest of them filling the upper level. Other facilities of the center comprise a museum shop, film storage rooms, laboratories, and workshops.
Top: Ralph Richter, courtesy of EYE Filmmuseum
Bottom: images from the exhibition at EYE, photos by Marcel Oosterwijk
Top: an image from the David Cronenberg exhibition at EYE, photo by Rene Passet
Center: the Panorama permanent exhibition, photo by Jenny Mackness
Bottom: photo by Remo Ferraguto.
Photos: cover © Jeroen PM Meijer
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