Located on the waterfront on the bend of the river IJ, rising up like a wave or a sea-animal, the striking new EYE Film Museum is part of the regeneration of the harbour areas of Amsterdam, with the new Palace of Justice across the other side, and is a short ferry ride from the major transport hub of Central Station.
Designed by the Austrian firm, Delugan Meissl architects, the interior is described as series of free-flowing spaces that move from one to another and unfold, like sequences in a film, with changes in light, volume and atmosphere.
At the heart of the building is a multi-purpose arena space with a café/restaurant on the waterfront terrace which, from inside, proves expansive views out across the river through full-height glazing, while stepped seating rises up to exhibition galleries and the largest cinema above. Cinematic-inspired light fittings were designed by the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. Downstairs is an exhibition area, “Panorama”, on film history including a green screen, mini-cinema booths, historic film equipment and 360 degree space which has a changing sequence of almost 100 different fragments of films from the 40,000 in the museum’s collection, arranged by theme. Throughout the building there is also other material on the history of film.
The EYE Film Institute Netherlands preserves and presents Dutch and international films, with a collection of over 40,000 film titles, 60,000 posters, 700,000 photographs and 20,000 books going back to the birth of the film industry in the Netherlands in 1895. The new building was opened by Queen Beatrix in April 2012.
Meanwhile, in London, the British Film Institute has started moving forward with its new International Centre for Film, TV and the Moving Image on the Hungerford Car Park Site on London’s South Bank, with funding support so far of up to £87million towards the £130million needed. The new building is planned to be opened in 2022, a decade after that in Amsterdam and will also see an extension to the landscaping of Jubilee Gardens, thus increasing the amount of public space on the South Bank. With such a great location, there is an opportunity to achieve a work of world-class architecture.