Renovated Stedelijk Museum opens with new composite architectural structures

The massive facade on the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is made with Twaron (aramid fiber) and Tenax (carbon fiber) from Teijin and is said to be the largest composite building in the world.

HRH Queen Beatrix opened the newly renovated Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on Sept. 22. The undisputed eye catcher is the massive modernist addition adjacent to the Museum's original, classically styled structure.  Also the largest composite building in the world, seamless white façade that now hovers above the square is an architectural first, made possible with high-quality Twaron (aramid fiber) and Tenax (carbon fiber) from Teijin (Arnhem, The Netherlands). This is the first time that these fibers together were architecturally applied.

Teijin, founder of the new Stedelijk Museum, was proud to contribute to the museum’s reopening. “The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is a global pioneer in the field of art and culture,” says president & CEO of Teijin Ltd. Shigeo Ohyagi. “Our philosophy is to grow and evolve in harmony with society. In addition to investing in our own facilities, we also prove our commitment in other ways by supporting regional projects and investing in art and culture.”

The new addition to the Stedelijk Museum appears to be a seamless whole and stands in stark
contrast to the original 19th century building. The composite façade was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects. “The Twaron aramid fibers and Tenax carbon fibers used to create the composite façade of this museum of modern and contemporary art is a beautiful addition that shows what Teijin stands for,” Ohyagi adds.

Due to their negative thermal expansion coefficient, a combination of Twaron and Tenax were used to create the smooth and seamless surface the architects had envisioned. The use of these fibers for the Stedelijk Museum ushers in a new phase in their architectural application. While Twaron has long been used in car tires, bulletproof vests, sailboats and airplanes, this is the first time they have been used in architecture together with Tenax.

For a full report on the composites used in the Stedelijk Museum, see "Big Museum, Big Structures," published earlier this year in Composites Technology magazine.