Designed in neo-Dutch, early 17th century Renaissance style by P. J. Cuypers, the first pole for the museum went into the ground on 1 October 1876. A scant eight years later, it opened its doors to the public. At the same time and in addition to the museum, a library and an official residence for the museum's director where also built. At the direction of the city fathers, Cuypers incorporated into his design a wide, ground level tunnel to accommodate pedestrian and vehicular traffice between the Stadthouderskade at its front and Museum Plein (square) at its rear. Along the axis through the tunnel and on the other side of the roadway at Museum Plein, is a large refelecting pool which serves as an ice-skating rink in the winter.