Rotterdam’s Museumpark, a legendary late post-modern public space design realized by Yves Brunier and OMA between the 1980s and the 1990s, hosts the new Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen by MVRDV. The namesake museum, located on the park’s threshold, is extended through a massive and just as simplified architecture: a single isolated bowl-like volume, entirely clad in mirrored glass panels.
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is the very first museum’s art depot to be entirely publicly accessible. The distinction between backstage and scene, between technical space and official rooms fades, at least in principle. MVRDV has the occasion to reflect on a new typology, at the intersection of the practical needs of artworks’ conservation and transportation, on the one side, and set-up and curatorial culture, on the other.
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen’s hybrid nature is also confirmed by its complex functional program: besides the depot, the building also contains a series of exhibition halls, the curators’ offices, a restaurant and a generously planted rooftop garden. The path between the different storages and rooms unfolds within a full height atrium, where the overlapping of staircases and elevators blurs with the reflections of multiple glazed surfaces.
The storage spaces’ required rationality and geometric optimization contrast with the emphasized complexity of this maze-like cavity. The actual depot comes to terms with its staging, and it eventually becomes in its own rights an object of reflection and admiration for its visitors.
- Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen
- Art depot, exhibition space
- Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Principal in charge:
- Winy Maas
- Fokke Moerel
- Design team:
- Sanne van der Burgh, Arjen Ketting, Gerard Heerink, Jason Slabbynck, Rico van de Gevel, Marjolein Marijnissen, Remco de Haan
- Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, De Verre Bergen Foundation, Municipality of Rotterdam
- 15,000 sqm