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Finishing touches put on Rotterdam’s Boijmans Van Beuningen depot façade

It will be the world’s first publicly accessible art depot

  • November 14, 2020 17:00
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium 355233 62 depot 2020  ossip b4a116 original 1590134041

The last glass panel on the facade of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Depot in Rotterdam was officially placed earlier this week. With this, the mirrored outside part to Rotterdam’s iconic art space is now complete.

What is left is to finish the construction on its insides and the belonging garden spaces, before the impressive collection of over 151 thousand artworks could be moved in and shown to the public. This is expected to happen next autumn.

A completely different concept for art display

The world's first art depot that offers access to a museum’s complete collection located in Rotterdam is now all dressed up. On Tuesday 10 November, after years of preparations, the last glass panel was placed on the outside of the building.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is a collaboration between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen – one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands - the municipality of Rotterdam and the De Verre Bergen Foundation. The idea for its construction was born as the world-famous collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, which has 170 years of history, grew so much that it became impossible to have all items be put on display.

In fact, it could only show at most 8% of them. Hence, the idea of an art depot was born, where the entirety of the collection will be freely accessible. Work began in 2017; the design was commissioned to MVRDV and the construction - to BAM Bouw en Techniek.

With these last panels, the depot facade is really finished, and you can clearly see what the building does to the city. I think it is wonderful to see how the depot facade reflects the skyline, the sky and soon the new, greener Museum Park. It feels like a living painting, with different accents and colour schemes at any time of the day so that it never gets boring”, explained the architect Winy Maas from MVRDV.

The façade consists of 6,609 square metres of mirrored glass, divided over 1,664 panels. The Depot will feature exhibition halls, a rooftop garden and a restaurant, in addition to an enormous amount of storage space. Its total area is of 15000 square metres.

A video impression of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen by 3D Capacity

Currently, the art depot of Boijmans is more or less just a wonderful selfie spot at Museumpark in the heart of the Dutch port city, as it is empty on the inside. This is about to change in just a few months’ time, however, when the constriction will be over.

Once the facility opens in the autumn of 2021, it will offer a completely different dynamic compared to the one of a museum: with no exhibitions, the public can simply browse through the thousands of artworks and learn about research, conservation and restoration.

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