The Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam has been closed to the public for almost nine years. That’s a long time for many natives, who view the museum as a personal reference point for contemporary aesthetics and culture. With thousands of graphic designs and paintings, the Stedelijk is one of Europe’s largest treasures.

Talk of renovating the museum became more concrete after it was shut down by the fire department in 2004 due to safety concerns. Now in 2012, the Stedelijk Museum is set to reopen with the addition of a new wing made of a white, fiberglass composites that has been notoriously nicknamed “the bathtub.”  Included in the museum’s 101,428 square-feet addition are an entry hall, a restaurant, a library, a shop and an additional 3,400-square-meter exhibition space for contemporary works.

Lead architect, Mels Crouwel, says that the museum needed something to make it stand out. “The interior is the same; same floors and same walls. However, the outside shows a distinct contrast between old and new,” says Crouwel.

The Stedelijk Museum is set to open on September 23rd, 2012.

[The New York Times]