Architecture

Mirrored mixing bowl offers behind the scenes look at the art world

Mirrored mixing bowl offers be...
Though now complete, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is not due to open until late 2021 as all the art still needs to be carefully moved in
Though now complete, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is not due to open until late 2021 as all the art still needs to be carefully moved in
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen reaches a maximum height of 39.5 m (roughly 130 ft)
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen reaches a maximum height of 39.5 m (roughly 130 ft)
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is topped by a publicly-accessible park with 75 trees and a restaurant
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is topped by a publicly-accessible park with 75 trees and a restaurant
Though now complete, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is not due to open until late 2021 as all the art still needs to be carefully moved in
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Though now complete, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is not due to open until late 2021 as all the art still needs to be carefully moved in
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is finished in 1,664 mirrored panels
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is finished in 1,664 mirrored panels
Visitors enter Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen into a large atrium that will display artwork
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Visitors enter Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen into a large atrium that will display artwork
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's artworks will be stored and exhibited according to their climatic requirements
"With this construction completion, now the museum and the users can start to inhabit the building and fill its spaces with priceless art," says Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV
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"With this construction completion, now the museum and the users can start to inhabit the building and fill its spaces with priceless art," says Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV
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Looking like a massive mirrored mixing bowl with salad sticking out of the top, MVRDV's Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen has finally been completed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The eye-catching project is hailed as the world's first publicly-accessible art depot by the firm and will host 151,000 art pieces.

Though construction is complete, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is not yet open to the public as the works of art still need to be carefully moved in. The building reaches a maximum height of 39.5 m (roughly 130 ft) and is topped by a publicly-accessible rooftop park with 75 trees and a restaurant that can be reached directly by elevator from the ground floor. Its exterior comprises 1,664 mirrored panels and the building measures 15,000 sq m (roughly 161,500 sq ft).

"With this construction completion, now the museum and the users can start to inhabit the building and fill its spaces with priceless art," says Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. "Although it will take another year before the real opening, the completion is a special moment for all: the museum, the city of Rotterdam, Stichting De Verre Bergen and of course for the contractor BAM, the many construction workers and subcontractors who persisted during the difficult circumstances we all faced due to the pandemic. The depot design is daring, and its success comes from the direct dialogue with all parties involved – from the person calculating the exact curvature of the mirroring panels and the construction worker who put up the glass vitrines to the company that co-designed our rooftop forest."

Visitors enter Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen into a large atrium that will display artwork
Visitors enter Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen into a large atrium that will display artwork

In the depot, artworks will be stored and exhibited according to their climatic requirements, instead of art movement, style or era as one might expect. Each storage space is climate-controlled and organized into five different zones, arranged according to works of art produced with different materials: metal, plastic, organic/inorganic, and photography.

Visitors will enter into an atrium area with crisscrossing staircases and a suspended glass display of specially selected works. This will lead to exhibition rooms and curators' studios, and members of the public will even be able to take a glimpse of experts busily restoring and preserving works, which is usually performed behind closed doors.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is due to open to the public in late 2021. The project is the latest in a long line of daring architectural designs by MVRDV, with highlights including the Tianjin Binhai Library and Markthal mixed-use market.

Source: MVRDV

View gallery - 8 images
2 comments
paul314
Cool-looking building! And maybe a chance for people to see the overwhelming majority of works that the museum holds but that never go on display. (Ultimately, all of those works should be available in digital form, but I'm not holding my breath.)
buzzclick
Knowing how good the Dutch are with plants, I expect that they will choose trees that can take the wind buffeting on the roof, otherwise, the glass fencing should be taller. It's being called a depot? Is the art for sale? In French 'un depot' is a warehouse or large sales outlet. As for the mirrors, I can't decide if they should have been flat (like a cut diamond) or curved. As it is, I hope the surroundings are visually interesting. If you see parking lots, sidewalks and streets in the reflections then you may be better off with the jewel effect. Just the same it's quite impressive.