Renovation and costs
- How long will the museum be closed?
We estimate that the museum will be closed for seven years for extensive and radical renovations and modernisation. The building will be closed for this period, but the collection can be seen in many other places in the city and further afield.
- So the collection won’t be visible for several years?
The museum’s programme continues and part of its famous collection will remain visible in eleven exhibitions, in school classrooms throughout Rotterdam, and possibly in a location in Rotterdam Zuid. From 2021, the collection will be displayed at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen. Selections from the collection will also travel to leading museums around the world.
- What will the rebuilding works cost?
The renovations and rebuilding will cost 168,5 million euros for the basic scenario and 223.5 million euros for the more ambitious scenario. Rotterdam City Council decided on 20 December 2018 to seek external funding for the more ambitious scenario. The aim is to create a future-proof and sustainable building that meets all contemporary requirements, can welcome more visitors and is more attractive for Rotterdammers and tourists. The building, which is a national monument, is in dire need of renovation, which will start in 2019 and taken seven years to complete.
- Who is paying for the rebuilding?
The total estimated cost of the renovation is 223.5 million euros. This takes into account the construction costs, additional costs, financing costs, price increases until the end of the renovation, organisational costs, etc. As the owner of the building, the City of Rotterdam is paying 168.5 million euros. External funding is being sought for the remaining 55 million euros. The city council has chosen the most ambitious renovation option, and the municipality and the museum are confident that they can enthuse other parties to make a contribution to the renovation and rebuilding.
- What is the schedule?
The renovation will take approximately seven years. The museum closed to the public on 27 May. The first stage is the removal of asbestos from the building. The renovation and rebuilding work will then be undertaken, followed by a period of aftercare, calibration of the climate-control systems and reinstalling the artworks. The museum is expected to re-open in the first quarter of 2026.
- Why are you building a new Depot when the museum building is being upgraded?
The impetus to build the Depot at the time was the fact that the storage facilities in the museum were to small, unsafe and obsolete. This problem could not be solved within the museum building itself but only through the creation of an external storage facility. Even with the renovation of the museum building, an external storage facility would still be required. A substantial financial donation from the De Verre Bergen Foundation has made it possible to build the striking new Depot, which is currently under construction in the Museumpark. The alternative would have been a storage facility on the outskirts of the city that would not be accessible to the public. Another important factor was to use the Depot to give a boost to the Museumpark and all the cultural institutions that border it. Similar to the Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Museum Island in Berlin and clusters of cultural institutions in other large cities, Rotterdam is also creating an attractive group of museums, each of which can potentially enhance the others.
- Why is Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen being renovated during the construction of the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen?
The museum building has been in need of maintenance for years and cannot continue in its current state due to factors such as the presence of asbestos, flooding and insufficient fire safety standards. It is no longer viable technically and functionally. The presence of asbestos in the building has created a maintenance situation that can no longer be ignored. Together with the outdated electrical and climate-control systems, it is no longer responsible to keep the building open.
The impetus to build the Depot at the time was the fact that the storage facilities in the museum were too small, unsafe and obsolete. This problem could not be solved within the museum building itself but only through the creation of an external storage facility. Even with the renovation of the museum building, an external storage facility would still be required.
- Which contractor will carry out the renovation?
That is not yet known.
- Is the Van der Steur wing a national monument and what does this mean for the renovation?
The building by Ad van der Steur is a national monument. These are buildings or other structures that are protected by the State because of their cultural or historical value. The maintenance and restoration of national monuments is subject to strict laws and regulations. Maintenance and rebuilding takes place in consultation with and under the supervision of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the City of Rotterdam’s Department of Monuments and Cultural History. This means that the State places demands on the quality of the work that is carried out and on the knowledge and experience of the parties involved.
- Is there asbestos in the buildings?
The Van der Steur and Bodon buildings contain asbestos, which will be carefully removed while preserving the building’s monumental elements.
- How has the building got into such a poor condition?
The building no longer complies with the laws and regulations because of the presence of asbestos and the fact that the air ducts are not compartmentalised. To ensure the safety of those using the building, asbestos levels have been measure twice a year. While these measurements did not cause concern, the renovation can no longer be delayed.