Photographer: Kelly Reeves

You can't see them, but they are certainly there: the technical wonders that make the more than 100-year-old Rijksmuseum an extremely modern art temple. Although the air conditioning, fire alarm, security, lighting and climate control systems are invisible, they contribute significantly to a beautiful, sustainable and energy-efficient building. The commercial partnership Arup-Royal HaskoningDHV is responsible for the integrated system design in cooperation with architects Cruz y Ortiz and restoration architect Van Hoogevest.

The entire installation system is dedicated to the safety and comfort of the valuable art collection and that of the visitors. For the fire alarm system, a so-called aspiration system was selected to avoid spoiling the rooms with ugly fire alarms.
The air quality delivered to the exhibition halls and warehouses ensures proper conservation of the works of art. Every exhibition hall has its own air conditioning unit of which the air ducts are concealed in the original architectural construction. The air conditioning system heats, cools, humidifies and dehumidifies the air, thus providing precise control of the air conditioning in the exhibition halls. In addition to the quality of the air, energy consumption has also been taken into consideration. This is achieved through recirculating a large quantity of air and supplying the rooms with a quantity of fresh air adapted to the number of visitors.

Daylight museum

Natural daylight has many advantages: it is free and energy efficient for illuminating art, it has a beautiful diffuse appearance and gives the visitor the impression of having contact with the outside world.
Improved daylight penetration was an essential aspect of the renovation. To make maximum use of the daylight, an innovative computer program controls the lighting and the blinds. The program contains the entire colour spectrum of an average Dutch year. The illumination of art can thus be adapted optimally to the characteristics of natural daylight, thereby maintaining the daylight effect. Moreover, significant energy savings can be achieved.

Energy efficiency and sustainability

Energy conservation and sustainability are pivotal for all installation systems. A central building management system controls all security, lighting and climate systems. This makes it possible to conserve energy, particularly in non-museum rooms. When no one is in the room, the lighting is switched off and the room temperature can be reduced.
The new power generator is located underground in the gardens of the New Rijksmuseum. Hot and cold energy is primarily generated through hot and cold storage facilities in the ground, in combination with heat pumps and backed up by central-heating boilers. The electrical installations have been fitted with halogen-free materials as much as possible to reduce the impact on the environment.

Royal HaskoningDHV is proud of the contribution it has made to restore one of the most important art museums in the world to a museum of the 21st century.

Read more about this project in the article 'Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam fitted with the latest Royal HaskoningDHV technologies'.