Thursday, October 4, 2007

Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI)

Opened in 1993, the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) is a museum of Dutch architecture. Amsterdam and Rotterdam competed for the honor of hosting the institute and in the end Rotterdam won the bid. Designed by Jo Coenen the building hosts exhibits about local and national architects and architecture. On display during our visit were the exhibits Cuypers. Architecture with a Mission and Living in the Lowlands. From the exterior the building appears to be a static glass box with two different branches but upon entering the building, one is impressed by the sense of space created by the architect. The exposed nuts, bolts and use of concrete and glass in the atrium allow the visitor to feel as if they are behind the scenes, really seeing the tectonics of the building. The building program includes a cafe, reading room and offices in addition to the exhibition spaces. It makes sense that the Netherlands would create such a monumental building to house the iconic architectural history of the Netherlands.

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