The 'Joods Historisch Museum' (Jewish historical museum) invited the architects ZJA to participate in a design competion. The theme of the competition was: "How will the public move through the museum in the future?" The museum resides in four old synagogues, which together are a not only a national monument, but also a monument concerning the history of the Jews from the seventeenth century untill the second world war. The buildings themselves are musea.
ZJA created a new circulation plan, in combination with the re-creation of the original fom of the two large synagogues. Between these two synagogues originates a large void in which ZJA placed a new stairwell and an extraordinary elevator. In this so called plunger-elevator, the lift cage is able to rotate. This way the visitors can use a lot of stops, and are no longer obligated to use one specific route through the museum: they can choose there own way.
ZJA also moved the location of the main entrance to the 'Great Synagogue'. This is a more logical entrance, and the visitor has a direct view on one of the large synagogues, because all the walls between the entrance and the synagogue are made of glass.
The large windows in the synagogues aren't really suitable for a museum. ZJA solved the problem of the light exposure by using switchable glass in these windows. The 'liquid crystals' in this type of glass can create a total, a partial or no darkening.
Client: Joods Historisch Museum