The old museum building dates back to 1896 and was designed by the architect J. Vilhelm Dahlerup. This building reflects the exuberant joy - so typical of the period - taken in mixing several historical styles. This is most clearly evident from the richly decorated facade and the imposing entrance, which makes for a solemn transition from the outside world into the museum collections.
Until the 1960s, a huge staircase dominated the Entrance Hall. Here, museum visitors could ascend to the first floor, which was devoted to paintings. The ground floor presented the museum's collection of plaster casts of historical sculptures. Today, this particular aspect of the museum has its own exhibition venue: the Royal Cast Collection in Toldbodgade, near the Royal Palace of Amalienborg.
The museum was short of space from the very beginning. It was not until 1970, however, that the amount of floor space available for exhibitions was increased. This was done by roofing two atrium wells in the middle of the museum.
The 1998 extension has provided the museum with a significant - and much-needed - increase in the exhibition space available.
The magnificent, modernist extension building is situated in parallel with Dahlerup's old museum, opening the house up towards the surrounding parkland.
The architect Anna Maria Indrio from the major Danish firm of architects "C.F. Møllers tegnestue" created the new architecture.
The two widely different buildings are separate entities, yet linked by a glass-roofed Sculpture Street, with footbridges connecting the first floors.
The two buildings meet and merge in a single fluid movement while also clearly demarcating their distinct differences.