Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the World’s First Fully Accessible Art Museum is Set to Open

Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the World’s First Fully Accessible Art Museum is Set to Open

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is set to open its doors, making the entire internationally renowned art collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen accessible to the public.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is set to open its doors, making the entire internationally renowned art collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen accessible to the public. Museums around the world usually display just 6 to 10 percent of their collections; the rest lies in storage. Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen breaks with this hidden tradition and makes all the invisible artworks visible – a world first. In the iconic, mirrored art depot designed by MVRDV the museum’s 151,000 artefacts are placed at the heart of the city.

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in the Museum Park in Rotterdam will be opened by His Majesty the King on Friday 5 November 2021, after which the public can then explore the treasure chamber of Rotterdam from November 6, 2021.

The depot’s ovoid shape makes it a building that is open in every direction. The bowl-like form means that the footprint is small and the rooftop area as expansive as possible. The fully mirrored edifice consists of 6,609 square metres of glass, divided into 1,664 mirror panels, which ensures that the building merges into its surroundings. The rooftop garden is populated by 75 specially cultivated multi-stemmed birch trees and 25 firs. Seen from the air, the greenery of the roof garden flows into the surroundings of the Museumpark.

Sjarel Ex and Ina Klaassen - Directorial team Boijmans Van Beuningen: “Opening up this collection is important. The objects and artworks that artists and designers have produced are an essential part of our thinking and acting. This new tool, this new typology, helps us to preserve and open up these treasures. The best part is yet to come: the building as we have devised it is now going to shape us.”

Said Kasmi - Alderman for Culture, Tourism and Education: “The already iconic Boijmans Van Beuningen depot is a wonderful asset to Rotterdam. The versatility of the building appeals to me: it is both a place to wander in an accessible way between a lot of great art, and a place to enjoy special architecture, whether you are outside or inside. Add the rooftop restaurant Renilde: enjoy a culinary highlight with a spectacular view over our city. Finally, it is a place where we can captivate future makers and conservators - the children and students of today - for art, restoration and conservation. We have a new gem for the public. That makes me a proud Rotterdammer!”

Sandra Kisters - Head of Collection and Research Boijmans Van Beuningen: “In the depot, the visitor is invited to delve into what collecting is in various ways and to actively relate to the collection and to share their own knowledge about collecting (art) objects with the museum. Selecting and distinguishing is a human process, motivated by emotion and guided by knowledge.”

Winy Maas, founding partner MVRDV: "The opening of the depot is an exciting moment – now everything is coming together. As an architecture firm, it was our mission to allow a special art experience to go hand-in-hand with a building that takes an equally special form, something which would also give the Museum Park a new dimension. I think the depot, with its reflective façade, blends into its surroundings in a fantastic way. With the rooftop forest we add a piece of park at a height of 35 metres. Despite its floor area of 15,000 m2 and a significant programme of depots, workshops, presentation rooms, and catering, it looks like a cute little ball – partly thanks to the mirrored facade which reflects the whole city. I invite visitors to take a journey of discovery through the dizzying collection, while discovering the building at the same time. For me, the depot will be a success if everyone feels welcome there.”

 

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Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).

Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).

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