Amsterdam Architecture Museum Center

Museum Center for Architecture Amsterdam Amsterdam museums

Museum Architectuurcentrum Amsterdam is affectionately called ARCAM by the people of Amsterdam. For every visitor the museum opens up the opportunity to learn not only about architecture as an art, but also to show how Amsterdam has been built and modified since its foundation. You can also learn about the history of the development of its own Dutch style in architecture. Equally interesting are the exhibits, which imply the architecture of the future.

The building

The extravagant building, erected in 1986 by architect Rene van Zuuk, became a landmark of the city at that time. Two materials were used in the construction: glass and metal, which had already generated considerable interest among the city's residents and tourists. Initially the project envisioned the construction of 5 floors, but the architect's ambitions were severely criticized by the supervisory authorities. They believed that the height of the future building could spoil the view from the windows of neighboring houses and disturb the landscape, they "cut off" 2 floors.



Once inside it is impossible to tear yourself away from the exhibitions on display - eras of ruling styles of architecture that have left their mark on the city's urban planning:

  • Gothic - one of the smallest expositions of the museum. Most of the buildings made in this style have not survived to this day, as they were destroyed in numerous fires.
  • Oude Kerk (Oude Kerk) The church, which survived to this day, was built in the Gothic style.
  • Renaissance and classicism - The exhibition offers unique footage of construction (1500-1800) using these styles. Here you will see what was borrowed from Italian and French classicism, and what was introduced by architects of the Netherlands. Among the city's buildings is the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis), the most striking representative of the transition from classicism to its own, Dutch style.
  • Dutch Style - This section of the exhibition is particularly revered among locals and architects of various countries. It clearly shows the process of the birth of one's own style, without using elements of architecture from Italy and France. Modernism and postmodernism - the exhibits are characterized by the use of unconventional techniques. The innovators are peculiar art groups that bring together architects of such styles as Neoplasticism and Expressionism.


Every year the museum of the Architecture Center holds several thematic exhibitions (at least 5). The main themes are: architecture of the future, its implementation and safety in terms of ecology.

What else is there to see?

In addition to the exhibits, the museum has a rather rich collection of books, souvenirs and even pieces of furniture designed by modern architects.

Walk to the island

Every Friday, the museum offers visitors to listen to a 45-minute lecture about the development of architecture in the construction of the city, and then take a hike of 2 km to Oosterdokseiland (an island in subordination to Amsterdam).

Types of excursions

  • Short lectures. During them, a museum employee will tell you about the architecture of Amsterdam's urban planning.
  • Group visit. If you are interested in a group tour, it is enough to contact (through the site, by phone) the museum staff and make an application.
  • City tour. An experienced guide will organize a walk through the most unusual, in terms of architecture, places of the city.

An interesting event will be attending one of the master classes conducted by experienced architects from Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

Useful Information

  • Official site:
  • Address: Prins Hendrikkade 600, 1011 VX Amsterdam
  • Online store: on the museum's website exists and online storeThe city of Amsterdam, where you can buy literature related to the architecture and construction of Amsterdam.
  • Ticket prices: To view the exhibits - free admission, to arrange a tour - the cost can be found by contacting the museum by phone or use the website.
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