Collection Building revealed to public
10 March 2014
On the evening of Saturday 8 March visitors to Rotterdam’s Museum Night were introduced to a wonderful plan: a public art storage facility. In the Museumpark and in its street-side gallery, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presented the plans for its future Collection Building.
“A view of a world that remains hidden in a normal museum”, “an icon for the city”, and “Rotterdam’s treasury”: Director Sjarel Ex, architect Winy Maas and alderman Hamit Karakus on the Collection Building that will be constructed over the coming few years in the Museumpark next to the museum. Several thousand art lovers visited the presentation about the new Collection Building until deep into the night on Saturday 8 March. The Museumpark hosted activities related to the park’s future, the new building and the landscaping.
The museum did not take part in Museum Night but opened its doors free of charge with an enormous surprise. The street-side gallery was entirely devoted to plans for the new Collection Building. The public was introduced to the design through films and visualisations. In the Museumpark the footprint of the future building was outlined with lanterns, and artists provided the public with storytellers and a green zone.
New storage facility: Rotterdam’s treasury
The museum is in desperate need of new storage. The collection is currently housed in five different storage facilities, some of which are in poor condition. There have been discussions over the past seven years about a solution to the storage problem, which resulted two years ago in the idea for a new Collection Building: a treasure chamber for the city. The new building, which will be accessible to the public, will cost €50 million. The Verre Bergen Foundation is contributing €15 million. The remaining €35 million will be provided through a loan, which the museum will repay over a period of forty years. The city council allocates an annual budget of €2.5 million for the preservation of Rotterdam’s priceless collection.
Design by MVRDV
Earlier this year it was announced that the Rotterdam-based architectural practice MVRDV has been chosen to design a sustainable Collection Building on the gravel terrain of the Museumpark, north of the museum. In order to retain as much of the park as possible, the building has a minimal footprint and a compact circular volume with a glazed façade to reflect the environment. The Collection Building has a surface area of 15,000 m2 of which 20-40% will be accessible or visible to the public.
From the entrance on the ground floor, the route zigzags upwards through the building to an exhibition space, restaurant and green oasis on the roof. The route passes art storage, conservation studios, galleries, logistical spaces, and spaces where private collectors can store their collections. The Collection Building will be a world-class centre of expertise in the fields of collections management and conservation. The building will enhance the cluster of cultural buildings around the Museumpark (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Kunsthal, the New Institute etc.) and will attract extra visitors, boosting the city’s economy.
The architect will be working on the provisional design over the next few months. He will consult with the organisers of the various festivals that take place in the Museumpark, with the surrounding institutions and local residents. Their input will help to shape the final design, which will be presented this autumn. If the three commissioning bodies give their approval, the city council will make its definitive decision about the building in early 2015.
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