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How was NEMO built?

NEMO was built on top of the IJ Tunnel. That tunnel serves as the museum’s foundations. Piles above the southern entrance to the tunnel support the building. Because of the construction of NEMO in 1997, the IJ Tunnel became 90 metres longer.

Many people think that the green copper building looks like a ship. In fact, the design by architect Renzo Piano sought to reflect the IJ Tunnel: where the tunnel goes down, the building goes up.

More facts about the IJ Tunnel:

  • Every day, 50,000 cars pass through the tunnel and every minute, three buses.
  • One hundred and sixty tension piles keep the tunnel on the river bed. Without these piles, the tunnel would float.
  • The tunnel is lit up by 559,220 LED lamps.
  • A total of 41 animals accidentally wandered into the tunnel in 1974. Once, an antelope was found in the tunnel. It had escaped from the Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo.
  • One hundred and fifty thousand electricity cables run through the tunnel. These provide power to the northern part of the province of North Holland.