Art Depot in a Bowl

Construction has just been completed of the bowl-like Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam's Museumpark, which is covered in mirrored glass and topped by a "rooftop forest".

The art storage facility, which will open to the public in autumn 2021, has been built to house the art collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in one place for the first time since 1935.


It contains a mix of storage spaces alongside areas for art maintenance, both of which will be made accessible to visitors after the artwork has been moved there.


This makes the facility the "first publicly accessible art depot in the world", according to MVRDV, the architecture studio that designed it, and will offer a "new type of experience" for museum-goers in the Netherlands.


The Depot is 12 metres tall and encompasses 15,000 sq.m of interior space, including a rooftop restaurant and sculpture garden. This restaurant, aptly nicknamed the "rooftop forest", is covered with 75 tall birch trees and was incorporated by the studio to make up for the lost green space and provide views across the city.


To help reduce its visual impact, the Depot is clad in reflective glass panels so that it blends in with its surroundings in the Museumpark, whilst its bowl-shape was developed to minimise its footprint.

Inside, the building contains several storage spaces alongside studios for the curators and areas for the maintenance of the art. The storage spaces are divided into five different "climate zones" so that the artefacts can be stored and exhibited according to their specific temperature and humidity requirements, which can vary depending on the materials used to make them.


Once open to the public, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen's artwork will be displayed throughout the entire building, including in its rooftop restaurant and sculpture garden.


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