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About the Depot

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen was opened on 5 November 2021 by King Willem-Alexander. The world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility, designed by the architectural firm MVRDV, is nearing completion next to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam’s Museumpark. It is the first building in the world that makes a museum’s entire collection public while also providing behind-the-scenes glimpses of how a museum works. In addition, it provides space to store private and corporate collections. The Depot is a gesamtkunstwerk and a new design icon for Rotterdam.

The world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen displays the museum’s entire art collection and offers visitors a behind-the-scenes view of how a museum works. In the Depot, fourteen compartments are fitted with shelves, racks and cabinets for all different kinds of artworks. There are compartments for paintings, metal objects, organic and non-organic materials, and black-and-white and colour photography. The depot compartments have climate control; the temperature and humidity are kept stable. From the circulation route, the stairs and the lift you can see the artworks from a variety of angles. Accompanied by a guide, you can also enter a storage compartment.

More than 151,000 artworks

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection is world famous. It has been growing for more than 172 years and currently comprises more than 151,000 objects, of which 88,000 are prints and drawings. Only eight percent of the collection could be displayed in the museum building. The majority of the works were stored in facilities that were not accessible to the public. In Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen you can see the entire collection, arranged not by period or art movement but based on the objects’ climate requirements.

Facts & figures

Height:

39.5 metres

Diameter:

Bottom 40 metres, top 60 metres

Design:

MVRDV

Amount of floors:

Ground floor and six stories

Floor area:

15.541 m2

Climate zones:

5

Professional restoration studios:

4

Capacity rooftop restaurant:

120 seats

Storage that can be rented for private and institutional collections:

1.900 m2

Glass:

6.609 m2, divided into 1664 mirrored panels

The Depot offers space for:

more than 151,000 artworks from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and of private collections and corporate collections

The Depot is a workplace

As soon as you enter the building, you can immediately see through the glass walls into the space where the artworks are unloaded. As you wander through the building, you can see inside the storage compartments, see restorers at work and see how the artworks are prepared and packed for transportation. Or unpacked if they return after being part of an exhibition. If you opt for a guided tour, you can enter some of the storage compartments during your visit and experience Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s amazing collection close-up.

Design

The Depot was built by assignment of the municipality of Rotterdam. At 39.5 meters, the building, designed by architect Winy Maas, co-founder of the Rotterdam-based architecture practice MVRDV, is as high as the tower of the neighbouring Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. It has an unusual circular form and a striking mirrored façade. The façade contains 6609 square meters of glass, divided into 1664 mirrored panels. As a result, the building reflects its green surroundings and almost disappears. The park in which it stands is echoed in the roof garden with a total of seventy-five birch trees ans some twenty pine trees. In aerial views of the Depot, the greenery of the roof garden blends with the trees in the park

Design

Interior

The Depot’s mirrored facade that reflects the surrounding city creates a spectacular exterior, but the interior is just as impressive. Boijmans has teamed up with artists John Körmeling and Marieke van Diemen to design various aspects of the Depot’s interior. Visual artist Pipilotti Rist made a enchanting artwork for the exterior of the building.

Sustainability

The Depot building has been designed to make it highly sustainable. It is constructed from sustainably sourced materials, such as recycled aggregates in the concrete. The choice for innovative materials and technologies results in extremely efficient energy consumption. The building uses a ground-coupled heat exchanger, contains a new system for climate control and has rainwater storage that provides water for the roof garden and for flushing the toilets. The Depot is also equipped with LED lighting and waterless urinals. The roof has been planted with trees (birches and pine trees), grasses and sedum plants, and solar panels on the roof supply the Depot building with electricity.