Renzo Piano - Nemo Museum Amsterdam
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Nemo Museum
Oosterdok 2, Amsterdam
1992 - 1997


The NINTís site is located in the heart of Amsterdam near the railway station, the Maritime Museum and the Zoo. The museum is built above the entrance of an underwater road tunnel, a major civil engineering structure of the 1960s, projecting into the harbour. As the underground tunnel sinks into the harbour from the city, a pedestrian ramp rises above the water thus creating a panoramic view of the city centre, the museum itself occupying the wedge of space between the two.
The building establishes a gradual transition from the scale of the historic centre of Amsterdam to the openness of the harbour. On pier level, where a pedestrian bridge from the central station lands and water taxis can embark, the visitors enter the main hall, whilst a second entrance on the roof terrace gives access to the museum for those arriving front the ramp.
Inside the museum the atmosphere is not monumental but rather frugal and simple to emphasise the exhibits, rather than the building. Orientation in the museum is made clear by natural light penetrating the open central space. Following the example of American and European initiatives, there are both temporary and permanent exhibitions on communication, energy, humanity, phenomena and technology, all of which rely on interactive display techniques.
On the roof of the museum, further interactive works are installed, which take advantage of wind, sunlight and water. Oxidised green coloured copper cladding for the facade was chosen for its technical properties of low maintenance, long life, lightness and strength, but expresses symbolically-the application of science and technology. The facade reflects colour, and communicates with its surroundings and the activities along the pier.