Amstelhof, the building that housed Amsterdam elderly for more than 400 years, is designated as Hermitage at the Amstel, the museum that will show part of the three million works from the St. Petersburg collection.
A courtyard and a lane were designed as entrance areas.
Three imposing chestnut trees remain of the original four. Even in this asymmetrical formation and despite later additions of vegetation and functions, these trees define the ambience of this cour, and should continue to do so. Consequently the design for the courtyard is simple and elegant, through the use of carefully detailed durable materials.
Except for the chestnuts, all vegetation is cleared. Incidental differences in level are structured, resulting in a raised lawn, reminiscent of a bleach field. On the west side four new park trees will assume the role of the chestnuts in the future.
The edge of the lawn consists of a sturdy stone slab at seat level with incorporated illumination. The foot path in the middle, also made of bluestone, is built at a higher level at one end in consideration of the root system of the chestnut nearby. In early spring, the lawn is graced with a shower of bulb flowers in blue, purple and white.
The east entrance of the museum is at a low level and flanked by two ramps which connect to the street. Both sides of the entrance are framed by irregularly placed park trees to emphasize its symmetry. Here the visitors who come by tour bus can enter, along with the vehicles transporting art works to the building. Some parking lots for the adjacent Deaconate are also situated here.
|A 10 foot high fence, hidden in a hedge of beech, separates the two lots. In the middle a perforated metal gateway allows a view of the lane with truncated sycamores leading up to the building next door. This axis is crossed by the approach to the museum terrace.
The use of bluestone for paving and seating slabs, just as in the courtyard, ties the two entrance sides of the museum together,emphasizing their different identities at the same time.
The Board of Governors
of the Hermitage
Hans van Heeswijk
Emilio Troncoso Larrain
Michael van Gessel