Architecture

MVRDV's mirrored mixing bowl goes behind the scenes of the art world

MVRDV's mirrored mixing bowl g...
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is finished in 1,664 panels of mirrored glass
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is finished in 1,664 panels of mirrored glass
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is finished in 1,664 panels of mirrored glass
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is finished in 1,664 panels of mirrored glass
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen has been in the works since 2013 and construction began in 2017
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen has been in the works since 2013 and construction began in 2017
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and reaches a height of 34 m (111 ft)
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and reaches a height of 34 m (111 ft)
The area surrounding Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is also being re-greened and will feature significant landscaping and park areas
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The area surrounding Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is also being re-greened and will feature significant landscaping and park areas
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen includes 63,000 paintings, photographs, films, pre-industrial designs and more, as well as 88,000 prints and drawings
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen includes 63,000 paintings, photographs, films, pre-industrial designs and more, as well as 88,000 prints and drawings
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen hosts the Netherlands' Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen's entire 170-year old collection while it undergoes a renovation by Mecanoo
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen hosts the Netherlands' Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen's entire 170-year old collection while it undergoes a renovation by Mecanoo
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is described as the world's first publicly accessible art depot by MVRDV
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is described as the world's first publicly accessible art depot by MVRDV
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior is climate controlled to ensure the artwork stays in pristine condition
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior is climate controlled to ensure the artwork stays in pristine condition
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior is arranged around an eye-catching atrium area with criss-crossing staircases
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior is arranged around an eye-catching atrium area with criss-crossing staircases
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is topped by a rooftop park
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is topped by a rooftop park
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's rooftop park includes 75 birch trees and 20 pines
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's rooftop park includes 75 birch trees and 20 pines
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's rooftop park area includes a restaurant that has an overall form meant to reduce the wind speeds, to protect the trees
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's rooftop park area includes a restaurant that has an overall form meant to reduce the wind speeds, to protect the trees
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior measures 15,541 sq m (roughly 167,000 sq ft)
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior measures 15,541 sq m (roughly 167,000 sq ft)
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is topped by solar panels, which help reduce its draw on the grid
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is topped by solar panels, which help reduce its draw on the grid
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MVRDV's Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is one of the eclectic firm's most striking projects to date. Resembling an oversized mirrored mixing bowl, the building is described by the firm as the world's first publicly accessible art depot and offers visitors a glimpse into the secretive world of art preservation and restoration.

Located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen came about because the country's Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is undergoing a renovation by Mecanoo and will be closed until 2028. With this depot now completed, the museum's entire collection of 63,000 paintings, photographs, films, design objects, contemporary art installations and sculptures, as well as 88,000 prints and drawings, will be protected and on display. As visitors travel through the building they can view the art and even see experts busily going about their work restoring, repackaging and transporting it.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is described as the world's first publicly accessible art depot by MVRDV
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is described as the world's first publicly accessible art depot by MVRDV

"The Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is the first publicly accessible art storage facility in the world," says MVRDV. "The brief was to design a building that would be as inviting as possible, where all different target groups would feel welcome. It was emphatically not to become a second museum, where only a small percentage of the collection can be exhibited, but an engine room that reveals the world behind the storage and maintenance of a dazzling number of art and design works. Visiting the depot offers a completely new experience: the art is arranged according to size and climate requirements, not art history periods. Old and contemporary works are juxtaposed, inviting new connections to be made.

"The depot owes its shape to the desire to give the building a relatively small footprint. As a result, the building takes up less space in the park, but curves upwards with a 10 m [32 ft] overhang to accommodate the entire program – storage spaces, restoration studios, catering facilities, and film and presentation rooms."

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior is arranged around an eye-catching atrium area with criss-crossing staircases
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's interior is arranged around an eye-catching atrium area with criss-crossing staircases

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen reaches a height of 35 m (115 ft) and is defined by an eye-catching facade comprising 6,609 sq m (roughly 71,000 sq ft) of mirrored glass, which is divided into 1,664 panels. The interior measures 15,541 sq m (167,000 sq ft) and is arranged around a large atrium with criss-crossing staircases and glazing offering glimpses at the art inside.

The building is topped by a small public park area (this can be reached separately without paying for a ticket to the depot) consisting of 75 birch trees, 20 pines, and various species of grass. Obviously wind is an issue at that height, so MVRDV installed a windbreak and a cross-shaped restaurant to reduce wind loads, and says this will be sufficient to ensure the trees withstand severe weather.

Additionally, the depot has some sustainability features, including solar panels on the roof to reduce its grid-based electricity usage, an efficient geothermal heat exchanger-based heating system, and a rainwater collection system that irrigates the rooftop park and provides water to flush the toilets.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's rooftop park includes 75 birch trees and 20 pines
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen's rooftop park includes 75 birch trees and 20 pines

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen has been in the works for a long time. It was first commissioned in 2013 and began construction in 2017. It now finally opens to the public on November 6, though extensive landscaping of the surrounding area is still ongoing and, once this finishes in 2022, will add events areas, ponds, and hundreds of new trees.

Source: MVRDV

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1 comment
1 comment
Douglas Rogers
Looks like T-Mobile Center!