Thursday, 12 April 2012

Eye opening

Approaching the EYE film institute from the ferry that took 4 minutes to cross the harbour fellow visitors resembled ants, neatly marching towards its red carpeted entrance.  Amsterdam boasts a new landmark sitting upon the north bank of the River IJ.

The architecture is at the same time futuristic and retro.  Designed by Viennese architects, its opening has been long awaited by the public, eager to inhabit their new eye catching gem.  Sitting low beside River, the geometry is as curious as the scale.  Covered by a mosaic of white aluminium tiles, its sharp edges are strangely inviting. 

The combination of sloping walls and glass makes it possible to see right through the building from various angles.  The architect was clearly inspired by light, space and movement, although the latter was certainly an issue during this, the first weekend the showcase was open to the public who descended in their masses, and with their small children.

Kids were everywhere.  Sliding down the newly installed interiors, with onlooking parents enabling the enacted claiming of the public space.  The commanding space occupies some 1200m sq and occupies a prime location on the former site of the Royal Dutch Shell headquarters, there was nothing terribly regal about this particular scene which resembled human territory marking.

The town had come to claim its space and was out in force.  Exploring the new museum, it occurred to me how unlike any other museum I've visited this was.  Home to four state of the art cinemas, this palace is likely to assume national treasure status whilst seeking to promote Dutch films internationally.  At a time when many cultural organisations in the Netherlands are facing huge cuts this building bucks the trend in more than one way. 

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