The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history. From their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, the museum has 8,000 objects of art and history on display, among which are masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer. The exhibited collection is very diverse both in terms of geography and historical period. The museum also has a small Asian collection, which is on display in the Asian pavilion.
Our company was awarded the tender for the exhibition material for the Special Collections, the 20th Century Collection and the Asian Pavilion. This assignment was successfully executed in less than one year, and finished in 2013. After measuring each room with 3D laser survey equipment, the most optimal form of each showcase could be determined by the engineers. This procedure resulted in our unique arch cases, invisible freestanding showcases and cylindrical and U-shaped display cases.
The main challenge in the Special Collections gallery were the custom-made arch cases. Due to building restrictions, their weight had to be decreased by 40%. To meet this requirement, our structural engineers used materials and techniques from the aviation industry. Our thorough knowledge of glass processing allowed us to reduce the thickness of the glass and thus the weight of the showcase, while maintaining the security level. Another remarkable showcase is the weapon showcase. To enable the visitor to discover all facets of the artefacts, the distance between the weapons and the public had to be reduced to only 30cm. No vertical structural columns could be integrated and therefore the showcase had to be suspended from the ceiling.
In 2019, Meyvaert was also awarded a new project to develop, manufacture and install the display case used during the restoration of the Netherlands’ most iconic painting, Rembrandt’s Night Watch. The case will allow visitors and online spectators to experience and follow the three year restoration process. New technologies are used like scanners, X-rays and lifts.
The challenges for Meyvaert were the coordination and integration of all hardware into an aesthetically appealing, functional and safe work environment. In order to limit the installation times on site, the case was fully reassembled in our factory and disassembled into large parts. It consists of a steel frame cladded with powder coated sheet metal, eighteen panels of 4m high laminated low reflective glass and two doors. All materials used to fabricate the cases have been ODDY tested and are low in VOC.
Arts & History
Cruz y Ortiz
Wilmotte & Associés S.A.
150 made to order showcases for the redevelopment of a historical building
Photos: Rijksmuseum; John Lewis Marshal; Erik Smits
The collaboration with Meyvaert has been fantastic from the start. They are real professionals with very strong in-house technical skills
Ir. Ing. Raphaël Ph. Van Amerongen
Project Manager Interior HNR