Cool Contemporary Architecture in Amsterdam

Enjoy some of Amsterdam's stunning contemporary structures, including bridges, hotels, concert halls and some very special museums

The city is known for its luxurious canal houses and gabled facades, plus windmills and drawbridges and touches of Renaissance and Art Deco. You’ll also be dazzled by a new wave of chic, contemporary designs, many of which are new public buildings, representing regeneration in this ever-changing city.

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

Opened in 2005, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a stunning addition to the waterfront—truly a concert hall for the 21st century. Slick in glass and chrome, it’s a showcase for contemporary music, art, festivals and multimedia shows. It’s also the meeting point of the southern banks of the IJ’s development and the city’s old heart. Don’t miss the café-restaurant’s waterside terrace.

Borneo-Sporenburg pedestrian bridge

Borneo-Sporenburg pedestrian bridge, Amsterdam, Netherlands

With more than 1,200 bridges over a maze of criss-crossing canals, this is one of the newest and most stunning. Also known as The Python Bridge or Anaconda Bridge, it’s one of the city’s most unusual. Dark red and 93 meters long, its snakelike structure undulates over the water between Sporenburg and Borneo Island. Built in 2001, it won the International Footbridge Award in 2002.

EYE Film Institute

EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands

This pristine white structure is the national museum for film. Completed in 2012, it was one of the first major public buildings to be constructed on the north bank of the IJ. The gleaming complex has a panoramic view over the water plus restaurant bar while four movie halls screen archival and contemporary cinematic treasures.

Stedelijk Museum

Extension of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The landmark museum was built in 1895 by A.W. Weissman, and is a beauty in red brick and stone. It fit in nicely with nearby major structures built in the same era: the Rijksmuseum and Concertgebouw. But more than a century later, a new and completely contrasting annex was built. It appears like an entirely smooth white structure, oblong shaped and tilted up in one corner, encased in glass on the entrance floor. Nicknamed by locals as ‘the bathtub,’ this new extension houses the museum’s second-level galleries.

DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel

Mint Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

This new 550-room luxury hotel is part of Amsterdam’s Eastern Dock Island regeneration, one of several contemporary new buildings to give the neighborhood a facelift. Designed by the British architects Bennetts Associates, it’s a dramatic fusion of angles and is also part of a cutting-edge ‘mini district’ heating and cooling system that serves eight large buildings on the island.

Van Gogh Museum extension

Kurokawa's extension contrasts with Rietveld's museum

The new wing was built in the open space adjacent to the museum. Dutch Modernist architect Rietveld designed the main museum in 1973. in 1999, Kosho Kurokawa was responsible for this addition, designed with curvilinear shapes and lines and a traditional Japanese sense of abstraction and asymmetry. Seventy five percent of the extension is located underground and there’s a sunken pool between the new wing and the main building.

Emma Levine
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