case study

Heineken Experience:

How the amount of visitors played a key role in designing and engineering a museum experience

TThe Heineken Experience is an attraction located at Heineken’s first built brewery in Amsterdam’s city centre.

In 1988, the brewery was closed due to the inability to meet the high demand. Nowadays, visitors can learn about Heineken’s heritage, it’s brewing process, innovations and sponsorships and what it takes to serve a star-beer in a 1.5 hour self-guided tour.

After 2015 the amount of visitors has increased significantly. The building needed to be adapted to deliver the optimal brand experience and to provide a safe journey throughout the tour for over 1.000 visitors a day. In the historic setting, a lot of passages were too narrow to allow a larger amount of visitors.

Together with the Heineken Experience and the contractor IJbouw we have collaborated to develop a masterplan in which all bottlenecks are tackled one by one. By enlarging the bottlenecks and making sure the escape routes are clear and aligned, the amount of visitors allowed is maximized.

Targets and challenges

The challenges for reconstructing the Heineken Experience have been several:

  1. the building is a Governmental Monument and hence can only be changed if historic values are preserved.
  2. the design and engineering needs to incorporate the demands for safety, fire safety and compartments.
  3. the building with it’s industrial background has floor and walls over 1 meter thick concrete. Structural adjustments and breakthroughs to create the tour have an tremendous impact. Especially considered risk #4:
  4. the Heineken Experience does not close during reconstruction. Demolitions and structural works are very limited in time: the neighbourhood is a living area: loud works can only start after 7.00 in the morning and have to be finished again before 11.00 in the morning when the gates open to receive the first tourists.

The Masterplan has resulted in a series of reconstructions in several phases. Almost every reconstruction had a structural impact and impact on fire safety. For all phases we have delivered all designs, calculations, permits and drawings. After each reconstruction the user permit is updated to make sure the safety of visitors is guaranteed.

Heineken Experience ontwerp, logo brouwerij