2 July 2014 |

Dutch studio MVRDV has revealed its competition-winning design to create a bowl-shaped art depot for the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam with a mirrored exterior and a rooftop sculpture garden.

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MVRDV’s Boijmans Collection Building will provide Rotterdam’s most important art gallery with a six-storey storage facility to house over 125,000 paintings, sculptures and objects, most of which will be accessible to the public.


Proposed for the northern end of the OMA-designed Museumpark, the building will have a round shape that tapers outward towards the top to minimise its footprint on the park. Its entire exterior will be made from mirrored glass, allowing the building to reflect its surroundings.


A public pathway will zigzag up through all six storeys, leading up from a lobby and cafe on the ground floor towards exhibition galleries and a restaurant at the top. These spaces will open out to the rooftop sculpture garden featuring a Futuro, the futuristic house developed in the 1960s by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen.


The levels in between will offer a series of exhibition areas curated by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, as well as a look inside various depots and restoration workshops. Some artworks will be displayed within these spaces, and could be swapped with the use of mobile storage racks.


A public art depot is a new phenomenon to the Netherlands; normally these depots are hidden in the periphery of cities, said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas.

“It is a bold initiative that will raise the attention of the international museum circles. It offers space to Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and will help it to strengthen its international profile.”


The building will also include offices, logistics rooms and quarantine areas, as well as private art collection rooms that can be rented through the museum. Completion is scheduled for 2017.

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