The Trippenhuis

From arms trade to the pursuit of science

Louys (1605-1684) and Hendrick Trip (1607-1666), the brothers who commissioned the building of the Trippenhuis, were arms dealers who established their firm Louys & Hendrick Trip ('Purveyors of Waepens, Artilleree, Shotte and Amunition of Werre') in Amsterdam.

During their youth they had spent a number of years in Sweden, where their uncle, Louys de Geer (1587-1652), had built up a strong position in the arms trade and weapons industry. After the takeover of a large iron foundry in Julethabruk in Sweden the brothers' business flourished to such an extent that they decided to have their own residence built in 1655. They wanted a double house, so that they could ply their trade from the premises. The site they chose was on Kloveniersburgwal, right by the St Anthony Weighhouse in the Nieuwmarkt.

The architect

The Trippenhuis was designed by Justus Vingboons (1620/21-1698). The Trip brothers probably first came across the work of the young Dutch architect in Sweden, where Vingboons worked from 1653 to 1656, completing the Riddarhuset in Stockholm. Justus Vingboons was a younger brother of Philips Vingboons (1607-1678), a well-known architect in Amsterdam.
Construction of the Trippenhuis in the Kloveniersburgwal commenced in May 1660. Precisely two years later Hendrick Trip and his wife Johanna de Geer moved into the northern house and Louys Trip and his wife Emerentia Hoefslager into the southern house.

The Rijksmuseum and the Royal Institute of Sciences

The Trippenhuis remained the property of the Trip family until the early 19th century. From 1812 onwards the house obtained a totally new designated use, when King Louis Napoleon used it to house the Royal Institute of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts - the precursor of the present Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences - which he had founded in 1808. During the period 1815-1885 the Rijksmuseum was also located in the Trippenhuis.

The Trippenhuis has remained the seat of the Academy until the present day.