Construction of the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen – the world’s first publicly accessible art depot – is almost complete. From September 25–27 the Depot will open its doors to the public for the first time. This will be the only chance for visitors to fully explore this unique building – including the roof garden with its view over Rotterdam – before it closes once more to enable the move of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum’s collection of over 151,000 artworks into the building. The fully furnished and functioning building will open to the public in Autumn 2021.
Once fully operational, the Depot will demonstrate a new model for the exploration, discovery and interaction with museum collections. MVRDV’s design will be the first museum storage facility in the world to offer public access to the majority of the 151,000 artworks from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection without the mediation of a curator. With the choice to enter with or without a guide, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in a world that until now has always remained behind the scenes at museums. Visitors will witness first-hand the extreme care devoted to each artwork and the attention to detail that is dedicated to responsibilities such as conservation, restoration, transportation, and research.
The building will have five climate zones, each with its own individual climate environment, tailored to suit art works and their specific needs. The works of art in the depot will be seen with objects of the same material and – unlike in museum itself – will not be displayed on the basis of their art historical importance or in chronological order. A roof garden, planted with seventy-five birch trees suited to high altitude and able to withstand the wind and weather conditions at a height of 35+ metres, will be accessible to visitors.
More details about the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen’s “silver opening” from September 25–27 can be found at the website of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen here. More information about the design of the Depot can be found here.
Top image © Ossip van Duivenbode