The Conflict

architects Marcel Blom, Marten Wassmann, Markus Sporer, Joost Vos, Mels Crouwel, Jan Benthem
project The New Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
written by Branimir Medić


The Stedelijk Museum was built as the municipal museum in 1895, in the retro style of the end of the 19th century. Its red brick mixed with white stone in horizontal layers is an aesthetic attribute of the ‘Dutch Renaissance Style’. The museum’s architect was Adriaan Weissman (1858-1923), but the real conceptual father of the museum as we know it today was Willem Sandberg (1897-1984). In 1938 while director David Roell was on holiday, Sandberg, the legendary curator, let the ornamented red brick walls of the museum’s interiors to be white washed, transforming the museum into a ‘white cube’ and allowing modern art to enter a neutral space free of decoration.