Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen: Accessible for three days

17 June 2020 09:13 - BAM Bouw en Techniek bv
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen: Accessible for three days

(Press release Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen:) Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 15 June 2020 - Construction of the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen - the world’s first publicly accessible art depot - is almost complete. From September 25-27 the Depot will open its doors to the public for the first time.

This September 25 - 27 the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen will open to the public. This will be the only chance for visitors to fully explore this unique building - including the roof garden with its view over Rotterdam - before it closes once more to enable the move of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum’s collection of over 151,000 artworks into the building. The fully furnished and functioning building will open to the public in Autumn 2021.

Architectural icon

The Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is designed by Rotterdam-based architecture firm MVRDV, led by Winy Maas. Once complete it be a major architectural icon for the city of Rotterdam and also for The Netherlands. The Depot will demonstrate a new model for the exploration, discovery and interaction with museum collections. It will be the first museum storage facility in the world to offer public access to the largest part of the 151,000 artworks from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection.

Sjarel Ex and Ina Klaassen, co-directors of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen comment: ‘It is a pleasure to see the final touches being made to this incredible building: the planting of 75 trees on the roof terrace and the placing of 304 m2 of solar panels onto the roof. When you look now at the Depot building - with all 1,664 mirrored panels covering it - you see the birds, blue skies and the leaves on the trees in the park reflected back at you. It is as if the building has merged into its surroundings: this building gives so much to the communities living in Rotterdam and gives also to culture at large. We look forwards to welcoming you here this September.’

Depot design

Located in Rotterdam’s Museumpark, next to the existing Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen building, the 39.5 metre high circular shaped building has a total floor area of 15,541 m2. The circular shaped building has a 40 metre diameter base widening to 60-metres span at the top to keep its footprint on the existent park to a minimum. The building will have five climate zones, each with its own individual climate environment, tailored to suit art works and their specific needs. A roof garden and café, planted with seventy-five birch trees suited to high altitude and able to withstand the wind and weather conditions at a height of 35+ metres, will be accessible to both visitors and members of the general public.

With the choice to enter with or without a guide, visitors will be able to become immersed in the world that until now has always remained behind the scenes for each museum. Visitors will witness at first hand the extreme care devoted to each artwork and the attention to detail that is dedicated to responsibilities such as conservation, restoration, transportation and research. The works of art in the depot will be seen with objects of the same material and - unlike in an art museum - will not be displayed on the basis of their art historical importance or in chronological order. Offering unparalleled transparency into the active role that a museum carries within society, into what it is that a museum does and how a museum cares for its extraordinary holdings, the new Depot is expected to attract approximately 90,000 visitors per year.

Commercial function

In addition to its role as the engine-room of the museum, the Depot will have a commercial role. Part of the building (1,900 m2) can be rented as storage by private collectors, other museums or corporate collections such as that of KPN. Those renting within the depot will be offered the same services and level of professionalism as the museum gives its own collection. There will be a restaurant at the roof garden (sixth level), ticketed events, guided tours and a Depot shop.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Bosch, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dalí and Dutch design: a visit to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is a journey through the history of art. Dutch and foreign masterpieces provide a comprehensive survey of art from the early middle ages to the present day. Masterpieces by, among many others, Monet, Mondrian and Magritte show the development of Impressionism and Modernism. The museum has one of the world’s largest collections of Surrealist art and an excellent collection of British and American Pop art with works by David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. The museum is also the place for decorative arts and design: from medieval ceramics and Renaissance glass to furniture by Gerrit Rietveld and contemporary Dutch design.

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