Bowl-Shaped Open Museum Storage in Rotterdam

Bowl-Shaped Open Museum Storage in Rotterdam
Bowl-Shaped Open Museum Storage in Rotterdam

The new building of the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, designed by the MVRDV architectural bureau, has opened in Rotterdam. This is the world’s first museum repository, the exhibits of which can be admired by the public. Bowl-Shaped Open Museum Storage in Rotterdam.

Within the walls of the building, there is an impressive collection of 151 thousand works of the museum fund Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, located next door. Usually, the storage facilities of museums are closed to visitors, but here the architects did differently. This approach allows a museum to display its entire collection at once, while other museums can exhibit no more than 20 percent of the fund at a time. Visitors to the new building can enter the various storage facilities of the museum and admire paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceramics, and other forms of art.

MVRDV has designed a bowl-shaped building with mirrored glass panels, on the roof of which is birch and coniferous garden. Inside, the building is divided into storage facilities, restoration shops, and galleries.

The new storage building, located in the city’s Museum Park, officially opened its doors on November 6, 2021, although construction was fully completed the year before. Now the building houses 63 thousand paintings, photographs, films, and other objects, as well as 88 thousand prints and drawings.

The heart of the interior is the atrium that runs through the entire room. And this is as much as 35 meters in height! The atrium is not only framed with glass but also complemented by exhibition stands.

Some booths are located at the edges of the central space, while others have become bridges over which and under which visitors can walk. All panels are filled with art objects from the museum collection.

One of the most attractive objects is the sculpture “Untitled” by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Previously, it was not shown in full, since the sculpture, by design, should partially go under the floor. Now the whole unusual object can be seen.

The interior solution connects 7 main levels and 20 storage departments. 14 of them are used by the museum, and 6 are leased to private collectors. Also, the storages have 5 climatic zones, each with its own special temperature and humidity conditions. Glass walls allow you to see these areas from the atrium, which allows the interior to “breathe”.

On the upper level of the building, there are a restaurant and event spaces designed by the Concrete design studio. These rooms are linked to a roof garden with birch, pine, and grass.

For the opening of the Warehouse, the Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist created a light installation called Wasting Life On You, which enlivens the facade of the museum with bright colors in the evenings. 

MVRDV has been working on the Storage Building since 2004 – ever since their project won the tender for the new building. The building was built as a result of collaboration between the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, the City of Rotterdam, and the De Verre Bergen Foundation.

The Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum Storage Building is not the first significant building designed by MVRDV in its native Rotterdam. In 2014, according to their project, the rear of the Markthal Rotterdam market was completed, decorated in the form of a huge arch, within the walls of which there are residential apartments.

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