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 with an expected opening in 2026. 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 and in school classrooms throughout Rotterdam. 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 for the renovation is 223.5 million euros. This includes construction costs, organisational costs, financing costs, additional costs and price increases until the end of the renovation, etc. As owner of the building, the municipality is paying the lion’s share of the renovation and rebuilding costs (168.5 million euros). This amount also includes the municiplaity’s organisational costs, ongoing management costs, the renovation of the G.J. de Jong monument, etc. External funding is being sought for 55 million euros. The municipality has drawn up a financing scheme so that the investment can be incorporated into the long-term budget. Talks are also underway with central government, the province, charities and philanthropists.
- What is the schedule?
Based on its vision of the museum of the future, the museum and the municipality have compiled a functional brief that lists the building’s museological requirements. This functional brief was then translated into a technical brief. These two documents, together with the vision, form the starting point for the renovation and are the sources from which the appointed architecture practice will draw inspiration for its design. The architect and technical advisers were contracted through a EU-approved tender procedure. The appointed architecture practice, Mecanoo, is preparing a structural design that will be submitted to the city council in the summer of 2020 together with a financing proposal. The city council will decide whether the renovation will be carried out in a more or less ambitious form. After this, Mecanoo will prepare the preliminary design, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Asbestos removal will start in the summer of 2020 and will take around a year to complete. concurrently, the preliminary design for the renovation will be elaborated into a final design and detailed specification. After this, contractors will be selected via the EU-approved tender process. Construction is expected to start after the summer of 2022 and will be completed in 2025. This will be followed by the fit-out period, after which the museum opens its doors to the public. The aim is to open at Easter 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 could not continue in its current state because of, among other things, asbestos, flooding and fire safety. The building, which is listed as a national monument, no longer meets today’s functional and technical requirements. The asbestos in the museum has created a maintenance problem that can no longer be ignored. Outdated electrical and climate-control systems also meant that keeping the building open could no longer be justified, and the building was consequently ordered to close by order of the proper authorities.
The decision to build Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen was taken because the storage facilities within the museum were outdated, overcrowded and unsafe. These problems could not be solved within the museum building itself, so an external storage facility would have been required even after renovating the museum building.
- Which contractor will carry out the renovation?
That is not known yet. We cannot select a contractor until the design for the renovated museum is finalised. A technical specification will then be drawn up, on the basis of which contractors can submit a tender. As with the selection of the architect, this will be done via the EU-approved tender process. We expect this to take place in 2022.
- Is the Van der Steur wing a national monument and what does this mean for the renovation?
The museum building designed by Ad van der Steur is a national monument, which means that it is protected by the State because of its national, cultural and historical value. Maintenance and restoration of a national monument must be undertaken in accordance with heritage and environment legislation and in consultation with (and under the supervision of) the Cultural Heritage Agency and Rotterdam’s Office of Monuments and Cultural History. This means that the government requires the work to be carried out only by those with the required qualifications, knowledge and experience.
- How has the building got into such a poor condition?
Preparations for a large-scale renovation of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen began in 2016. In the years prior to this, routine maintenance was undertaken but the choice was made not to tackle it on a large scale. There has been regular but very limited maintenance due to the presence of asbestos. By postponing the asbestos removal, the building’s condition has deteriorated significantly.