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Holland’s capital city holds treasures as far as the eye can see — from breathtaking canals, beautiful gardens of flourishing tulips, as well as, some architectural wonders that will stop you dead in your tracks. Hotels in Amsterdam are among the best in The Netherlands with everything from 5 star designer boutique hotels to budget friendly hotels and hostels to set everyone’s needs.

Rich cultural heritage and a progressive world have fused into what is now modern-day Amsterdam, and these 7 sights are premier illustrations of the living unison between Amsterdam’s past, present and future.

Here’s my pick of seven of Amsterdam’s most amazing architectural wonders.

7. ARCAM: René Van Zuuk Architekten

The 2003 was born out of the demand for a larger accommodation of The Architecture Centre Amsterdam. There were strict requirements that needed to be met, such as the fact the new building would have to be the utmost form of modest, with the possibility to lower the waterfront compared to the street façade at the Prins Hendrikkade. It would also have to be closed but still open up to the water.

The result is the stunning three-story pavilion of zinc-coated aluminum strips and glass that provides a breathtaking view of the Oosterdok waterfront and manages to make a strong, lasting impression despite its small dimensions.

6. Silodam: MVRDV

A former dam has been refashioned in Western Amsterdam to produce what is now Silodam. The unique structure is a multi-purpose construction that holds housing, offices, commercial sites and public spaces, all of which are enclosed in a 20-meter deep, 10-story structure.

The mixture of old and new, business and leisure and the view of the harbour make Silodam an excellent example of the many people, places and lifestyles that make up Amsterdam’s diverse population today.

5. Music Building on The IJ: 3XN

Jutting out toward the water in Oostelijke Handelskade, the Music Building by 3XN is the new headquarters for two organizations that are dedicated to modern and non-western music. While each organization holds its own unique space within the building, it’s the outside that grabs the most attention, namely for the enormous roof.

There are, of course, wonders to be found within in the form of a public plaza. An outdoor café overlooking the water is also available. The 24-meter high glass structure offers guests panoramic views of the IJ River.

4. IJ Tower: Neutelings Riedijk Architects

Also located along the IJ is the IJ Tower. Neutelings Riedijk Architects designed the apartment complex on the former docklands of Amsterdam, facing KNSM Island. The building was constructed between 1993 and 1998, and still stands today as a notable piece of modern Dutch architecture.

Home to 68 apartments in total, the IJ tower is covered in natural fibre cement with vertical aluminium flashing. It’s a part of a plan to renovate the youthful port area and bring it into the modern ages.

3. NEMO Science Centre: Renzo Piano

Visitors and natives alike cherish the Oosterdok NEMO Science Centre. The monstrous science and technology museum is modelled after a ship and appears to rise out of the waters as you approach. Only 15 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station, the NEMO Science Center has a unique curved bow at the Northside of the museum, covered in a sea green copper that was chosen due to its malleable qualities.

The curve can mostly be attributed to the foundation of the museum, as it was built over the IJ Tunnel. Where the tunnel descends, the building rises. This explains the slanted roof, where patrons can take a break by heading up to the roof, a slanted variation of a ship’s upperdeck that offers seating and plenty of sunshine.

2. Public Library: Jo Coenen

The 2007 Oosterdokseiland construction is a hallmark in the career of Jo Coenen. He chose to design not just the exterior, but the interior as well to establish a sense of continuity that resonated throughout every crevice. The Public Library wasn’t made simply to look good, but instead to be a powerful resource to the community. Every day it is filled with people.

Stairs and escalators unite the five floors, all of which are open to the centre of the building. The fluid design gives room for visitors to move comfortably among the library’s offering, and plenty of space for ideas to flow.

1. Van Gogh Museum Exposition Wing: Kisho Kurokawa

The extension of the Van Gogh Museum was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa and utilizes his trademark geometric shapes to express the philosophy between western and eastern design principles.

The elliptical building was constructed to express “the symbiosis between environment and architecture, and between Japanese and European culture.” (Van Gogh Museum). Very recently on September 5, 2015, a new entrance hall was revealed by Kurowaka and features the latest and most advance glass architectural technologies. 50 square metres of cold bent glass topped with 30 metal roof fins, which are also encased in up to 12 meters of glass, rest atop 20 glass columns that reach up 9.4 meters. All are mounted on 65 tons of steel and the tunnel connects both the newer Van Gogh Exhibition that Kurokawa previously designed and the original building designed by Gerrit Rietveld.

Featured image via CC Flickr by Mariano Mantel

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Have you spent time exploring Amsterdam’s most amazing architectural wonders? 

About The Author

Paris is a freelance writer and avid world traveller. From her base in the UK she is slowly exploring the world, one journey at a time.

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