take a look inside the MVRDV boijmans van beuningen depot in Rotterdam


MVRDV’s boijmans van beuningen depot OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

on saturday november 6, 2021, the world’s first publicly accessible art depot opened its doors to the public in Rotterdam. the mirrored bowl-shaped building designed by MVRDV houses a collection of 151,000 works of art that took 172 years to collect.

the seven-storey depot is located next to the boijmans van beuningen museum in the museum grounds in rotterdam. MVRDV founding partner winy maas said before the opening,‘our ambition was to give the museumpark a new dimension and bring different target groups, from schoolchildren to feyenoord fans, into contact with the boijmans collection in an innovative way. we hope to have added a new work of art to Rotterdam’s already rich architectural collection. ‘

the atrium of the depot with intersecting stairs and glass showcases

images © ossip van duivenbode (unless otherwise stated)

the bowl-shaped shape, which curves upwards with an overhang of 10 meters, was designed by MVRDV to achieve a small footprint. 6,609 m² of glass subdivided into 1,664 reflective panels cover the facade with reflective skin, while a rooftop forest and a cross-shaped restaurant surmount the 39.5-meter-high building.

inside, a 40-meter-high atrium with crisscrossing staircases takes center stage. the atrium is filled with works of art in floating display cases, which were created by artist marieke van diemen. boijmans also collaborated with artist and architect john körmeling, who designed the lighting for the entrance hall and interiors on the ground floor. visual artist pipilotti rist created a colorful light installation to illuminate the exterior of the building at night.

take a look inside the new boijmans van beuningen depot in rotterdam
the artist marieke van diemen designed the floating display cases


unlike most museums, the works of art in the boijmans van beuningen repository are not organized by periods in art history, but by size and climatic requirements in five different climatic zones, which means that it there is no defined path to explore the vast collection. visitors can use the deposit app as they browse to access the story behind each coin and even save the ones they love the most in their own collection. works include ‘untitled (sewer hole)’ by maurizio cattelan and olafur eliasson‘s’ notion motion’, the largest object in the collection.

the boijmans van beuningen depot offers art lovers the chance to glimpse behind the scenes and peek inside four open-view restoration workshops. the program also includes a storage compartment, which can be consulted with a guide, and 1900 m² of space that can be rented for private and corporate collections.

take a look inside the new boijmans van beuningen depot in rotterdam
‘untitled (sewer hole)’ by maurizio cattelan

image © aad hoogendoorn

and once visitors have browsed through the huge collection, they can head to the ‘renilde’ rooftop restaurant or walk through the rooftop forest and enjoy the city view.

“The depot is a building that makes a lot of people happy; skaters have their own place outside which will hopefully remain, while passers-by try to find the best place to stand to take a good selfie. as an architect i hope visitors will soon enjoy the interior, the forest on the roof and the experience of being in direct contact with art without the mediation of a curator, ‘ continued maas.

see previous designboom cover from boijmans van beuningen repository here and here.

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