Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, New MVRDV Building Rotterdam, Netherlands Architecture

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, NL

24 Sep 2020

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam

Design: MVRDV, architects

Location: Museumpark, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Completes Construction In Preparation For Museum’s Big Move

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam building aerial view
Aerial photograph of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen © Ossip van Duivenbode

September 24, 2020 / Rotterdam, NL – Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, the first publicly accessible art depot in the world designed by MVRDV, has completed construction. Located in Rotterdam’s Museumpark, the depot features a new type of experience for museum visitors: a sturdy engine room where the complete collection of 151,000 objects is made accessible to the public.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam MVRDV design
photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

In addition to the various storage and care areas, the depot has a restaurant and an award-winning rooftop forest. The construction completion paves the way for interior furnishings and the long process of moving the museum’s complete collection into their new storage facility.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam building
photograph © Ossip van Duivenbode

An approximately 130-foot-high building ‘in the round’, the Depot’s bowl-like form has a relatively small footprint. This form ensures that at the ground level, existing views into and routes through the Museumpark remain unimpeded and reduces the impact on underground water buffers, while an expansive rooftop public space with a restaurant provides access to inspiring views of Rotterdam.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam MVRDV design
photograph © Ossip van Duivenbode

Comprising 71,138 square feet of glass subdivided into 1,664 mirrored panels, its reflective façade wears the trappings of whatever surrounds it: people passing by, Museumpark’s leafy grounds, the clouds, and Rotterdam’s dynamic city skyline. Thanks to this reflection, the building is already fully integrated into its surroundings, despite its not insignificant size of 161,458 square feet. It enlivens its surroundings while establishing strong relationships with the park and the neighboring buildings.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam by MVRDV at night
photograph of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen © Ossip van Duivenbode

In the Depot, artifacts will be stored and exhibited according to their climatic requirements, as opposed to movement or era. Each storage space is climate controlled and organized into five different climate zones, arranged according to works of art produced with different materials: metal, plastic, organic/inorganic, and photography.

Architect Winy Maas from MVRDV:
Architect Winy Maas from MVRDV
photo : Daria Scagliola

The building’s eye-catcher is the atrium with crisscrossing staircases and suspended glass display cases showing exhibitions of works selected by museum curators. This atrium will lead visitors to exhibition rooms and curators’ studios, offering them a unique behind-the-scenes experience and the chance to learn how a world-renowned museum maintains and cares for its art collection.

New MVRDV Building Rotterdam
photo of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen © Ossip van Duivenbode

Art is displayed throughout the building, beginning in the ground floor lobby and continuing along the entire route through the building, extending even to the rooftop restaurant. Outside this restaurant, a rooftop forest at a height of 115 feet will provide another public attraction, accessible via an express elevator from the ground floor, and populated by 75 multi-stemmed birch trees standing several meters tall. The rooftop offers visitors breathtaking vistas across the city of Rotterdam.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam MVRDV building
photo of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen © Ossip van Duivenbode

Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV: “With this construction completion, now the museum and the users can start to inhabit the building and fill its spaces with priceless art. Although it will take another year before the real opening, the completion is a special moment for all: the museum, the city of Rotterdam, Stichting De Verre Bergen and of course for the contractor BAM, the many construction workers and subcontractors who persisted during the difficult circumstances we all faced due to the pandemic. The depot design is daring, and its success comes from the direct dialogue with all parties involved – from the person calculating the exact curvature of the mirroring panels and the construction worker who put up the glass vitrines to the company that co-designed our rooftop forest.”

Directeur Sjarel Ex in Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen:
Directeur Sjarel Ex
photo : Daria Scagliola

Sjarel Ex and Ina Klaassen, directors Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: “This is a working building in which the most important consideration is what the building can do: to look after our collection while still being open to the public. Next year the entire collection of Boijmans Van Beuningen will once again be visible on one spot for the first time since 1935. We are convinced that making the collection accessible shows how much we care and how well we take care of it. This is something that the inhabitants of Rotterdam will be proud of; something that they want to see with their own eyes, because they partly own this enormous artistic treasure.”

Directeur Ina Klaassen in Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen:
Directeur Ina Klaassen in Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen
photo : Daria Scagliola

Depot Boijmans Van Beunigen is a collaboration between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Municipality of Rotterdam and the De Verre Bergen foundation. The depot was designed by MVRDV, and made possible by BAM Bouw en Techniek. In Autumn 2021 it will open its doors for the public. From September 25th to 27th 2020 a sneak preview is organized for the inhabitants of Rotterdam. All 7,700 (free) tickets for this event were reserved within three hours.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam MVRDV design
photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam images / information from MVRDV architects

Previously on e-architect:

Collection Building Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

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Exhibition design for the international exhibition Mad About Surrealism
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Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Exhibition

Address: Museumpark 18, 3015 CX Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 441 9400

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands, north western Europe

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