MVRDV strike again: Dutch innovators reveal public art depot which takes visitors 'behind closed doors' to enjoy unexhibited works

by Kim Megson | 09 Nov 2015

Work will soon begin on the creation of a public art depot in Rotterdam allowing visitors to explore behind the scenes at one of Europe’s largest art galleries.

The Collectiegebouw will store 75,000 European art works belonging to the city’s Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. While art depots typically hide unexhibited collections from view, visitors here will be able to witness a hive of backstage activity. Restoration, maintenance and transportation of the stored art will all take place within view of the public.

Dutch architects MVRDV have designed the 14,000sq m (150,600sq ft) Collectiegebouw – located in the city’s famous Museumpark – as a striking glass structure with a lush landscaped roof.

Winy Maas, principal architect and co-founder of MVRDV, said: “It’s fantastic that our public art depot will be realised. It will allow the entire population to share something that is normally hidden behind closed doors.”

The building has been designed to resemble a glass bowl, with reflective glass cladding mirroring the surrounding environment. In addition to the storage space, the interiors will include cafes, private galleries and educational facilities. Visitors will be able to reach the rooftop, which will feature a €50m (US$53.8m, £35.7m) sculpture park containing trees relocated from the construction site.

The project – which has been approved by Rotterdam’s city council – will replace the museum’s current storage space, which is located below sea level and has been deemed a flood risk.

City councillor Adriaan Visse said: “With Collectiegebouw, Rotterdam will create an icon the entire city will benefit from. The building will strengthen the cultural cluster around Museumpark and add to a lively inner city. This is important to attract and maintain the higher educated and investors.”

A contractor for the project will be chosen through a tender process in the coming months. Construction is expected to start in Q3 2016 and the museum should open its doors by the end of 2018.

MVRDV are fast developing a reputation for their innovative design concepts. Work was recently completed on a tennis clubhouse designed by the studio which allows spectators to view the on-court action from the structure’s roof.

Work will soon begin on the creation of a public art depot in Rotterdam allowing visitors to explore behind the scenes at one of Europe’s largest art galleries. The Collectiegebouw will store 75,000 European art works belonging to the city’s Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. While art depots typically hide unexhibited collections from view, visitors here will be able to witness a hive of backstage activity. Restoration, maintenance and transportation of
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Construction is expected to start in Q3 2016 and the should open its doors by the end of 2018 / MVRDV
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