Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, the world’s first fully accessible art depot, is being developed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Project Type

Art storage facility


Rotterdam, Netherlands

Estimated Investment

€55m ($62.5m)

Construction Started

March 2017


Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, the world’s first fully accessible art depot, is being developed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The €55m ($62.5m) museum project is being developed by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, De Verre Bergen Foundation, and Municipality of Rotterdam. It received financial support from Rotterdam City and De Verre Bergen Foundation.

The Depot will house exhibition halls, storage space for art and design, a rooftop garden, and a restaurant. It will showcase 151,000 artefacts on full display to the public.

The ground-breaking event for the project was held in March 2017 and the building topped out in September 2019.

It is expected to open in September 2020 for a short time before closing for the movement of artworks from Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. It will fully open to the public in Autumn 2021.

Location of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen will be located in the Museumpark, adjacent to the existing Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen building in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen design details

The design of the building focuses on accessibility, with 99% of the building being publicly accessible. The 39.5m-high depot has an ovoid-shaped structure and an expansive roof to enable a small ground-level footprint. The six-story building will have a total floor area of 15,541m² and a diameter base of 40m, widening to 60m at the top.

It will feature a large rectangular open space (atrium), which will span across the ground floor and up to the roof. The 40m-high, 28m-wide, and 6m-deep atrium area will feature zigzag staircases inspired by the style of Italian draughtsman Giovanni Piranesi, to lead visitors to exhibition rooms and curators’ studios, as well as up to the rooftop.

The side of the atrium will have two glass lift shafts, with one to be used for transporting works of art while the other shaft will be divided to provide two lifts for the visitors.

The 3D Maze in the atrium will be characterised by several undefined and non-hierarchical routes to feature floating display cases and walls for artworks.

The Depot will have a rooftop forest housing 75 multi-stemmed birch trees, situated at a height of approximately 35m above ground.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen façade

The structure’s reflective façade comprises 6,609m² of glass subdivided into 1,664 mirrored panels, which will reflect the landscape of the Museumpark to integrate the depot with its surroundings.

The façade is made up of 64 segments and 26 rows, with 26 unique spherically curved glass panels.

The project employed building envelope engineering (BEE) to determine the economic feasibility of the mirrored façade.

Artefacts at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen

The Depot will feature five climate zones, each with a unique climate environment maintained by a climate control system, to suit the artworks and their specific needs.

The climate zones will be tailored to support the artefacts made of different materials such as metal, plastic, organic / inorganic, black-and-white and colour photography.

“The 40m-high, 28m-wide, and 6m-deep atrium area will feature zigzag staircases inspired by the style of Italian draughtsman Giovanni Piranesi.”

The artefacts will be wrapped, hung from a rack, displayed in a cabinet or exhibited in the display cases in the atrium. The atrium will have 13 suspended display cases made of glass and toughened steel.

The prints, drawings and photographs will be stored in enclosed spaces but will be available for the viewing of visitors upon request.

The largest display case will have dimensions of 602cm x 506cm x 508cm and will be displayed on the sixth floor of the building. The display cases will have a combined volume of approximately 400m³.

Sustainability features

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen will be an energy-neutral building through the use of geothermal heat exchange, high-performance insulation, solar panels, and LED lighting.

The building’s basement will be used for rainwater harvesting for irrigation and toilet facilities. The water storage and green roofs will minimise the building’s water run-off.

Contractors involved

The Depot is designed by MVRDV and the atrium is designed by Marieke van Diemen. A team of Marieke van Diemen, DerksdenBoer Interior Architecture, and MVRDV is responsible for the design of 3D Maze.

MVRDV partnered with John Körmeling and Marieke van Diemen to develop the entrance and atrium while Concrete provided the interior design of the rooftop restaurant. Pipilotti Rist was contracted to design an installation for the building. MTD Landscape Architects assisted in designing the forest.

BAM Construction and Engineering won a contract to perform the construction works. ABT Building Envelope Engineering provided façade engineering and also assisted with the technical design for the interior of the building, along with fire and burglary safety.

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