MVRDV unveils reflective bowl-shaped art depot
for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV

News: 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.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV

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.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV

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.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV

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.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV
Park sequence - click for larger image

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.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV
Exploded axonometric diagram - click for larger image

"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."

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV
Public accessibility diagram - click for larger image

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.

Here's the full announcement from MVRDV:

MVRDV wins competition Collection Building
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Today the city of Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and MVRDV present the design for the new Collection Building. The building with a surface of 15,000m2 is an open art depot featuring exhibition halls, a sculpture roof garden and a restaurant. The public can see what's going on behind the scenes in a museum and private art collectors will be able to store their own collection in ideal Museum conditions. The design – a reflective round volume – responds to its surroundings, Rotterdam's Museumpark in which it will be completed in 2017. The allocated budget is 50 million Euro.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV
Sustainability diagram - click for larger image

Collection Building is an art depot open to the public. A public route zigzags through the building, from the lobby on the ground floor where a café can be found up to an exhibition space, sculpture garden and restaurant on the roof. On the way up the route passes along and through art depots and restoration workshops. In depots visible from the route, the exhibition can be changed on a daily basis by simply moving storage racks so each visit to the building can offer a unique experience. On three floors the route passes through exhibition spaces which will be programmed by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV
Volume concept - click for larger image

The building - which will store the precious art collection of Rotterdam - will also have spaces not accessible to the general public. For example logistics, quarantine and room for private art collections whose owners can visit their art and even enjoy it in private spaces comparable to the art-equivalent of a sky box. This is a new commercial service offered by the museum. Additionally depots and an office of philanthropic foundation De Verre Bergen will be located in the Collection Building.

The roof featuring a restaurant, sculpture garden and exhibition space offers wide views over Rotterdam and will be the new home for the Futuro, the ufo-shaped house of Finish architect Matti Suuronen.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV
Roof garden concept - click for larger image

The Collection Building will be realised on the northern edge of Rotterdams Museumpark, realised by OMA with Yves Brunier in 1994. In order to spare the park, the volume is designed as a compact round volume with a small footprint and will be clad with a reflective glass facade. This will make the building less visible and allow reflections, the public can see what is happening elsewhere in the park. Where needed the reflection will be lesser for transparency and to avoid unwanted light effects.

40% of the 15,000m2 will be visible or accessible to the public. The building will feature seven different climatic conditions facilitating ideal conditions for art storage, offices and the public. The ambition is to reach sustainability classification BREEAM Excellent.

Boijmans Collection Building art depot by MVRDV
Facade concept - click for larger image

In the autumn of 2013 five architecture teams presented their designs for the Collection Building in a competition won by MVRDV. The other contenders were Koen Van Velsen, Harry Gugger with Barcode Architects, Neutelings Riedijk and Mad with NIO. MVRDV was disqualified from the competition after an alleged breach of the regulations but was vindicated in a legal procedure and declared official winner. MVRDV won the competition together with Pieters Bouwtechniek, IGG Consultants and DGMR Consultants. Expected completion is envisioned for 2017.

  • Mario

    Dezeen do your homework!!! Although this design is the winning proposal, it is cancelled because the museum director had an off the record meeting with MVRDV which gave the suggestion of possible entangled interests.

  • Jeroen van Lith

    Do your own homework. MVRDV won the case and got the commission.

  • Colonel Pancake

    I hate faceted facades.

  • Peter

    Mario, what you’re saying is correct, but the other competitors didn’t object, causing the whole fuzz to be left out of the courtroom. So MVRDV’s proposal is completely legitimate. So please make sure you get the whole story before writing that first sentence.
    Not a big fan of the design, something more sober would be more appropriate. Rotterdam is turning into a zoo of bad taste architecture.

    • Mario

      Sorry guys!

  • Gwen

    Love it!

  • man

    Perfect, now not only will melt cars but people aswell

    • Teddy

      With a convex surface there shouldn’t be any death rays. Just a big make-up mirror.

  • Spence McNulty

    If your going to call something reflective then make sure the supposed reflected image doesn’t have the same line weight as your actual image, digital media 101?

    Correction. Excellent diagram drawings but c’mon your money shot needs to be on point! and this just looks to fake.

    Double correction. Who wants to make the worlds largest mirror?

  • Spence McNulty

    I hate bad renders that make cover photos
    but I love excellent concept diagrams…what to do…

  • Payam

    Absolutely ridiculous. Another tub-like museum extension in NL.

  • Sweets

    I think it’s time for architects to get over diagrams, icons and gimmicks. Please start to get serious again.

  • amsam

    Wow, one plea for “something more sober” and another averring “it’s time for architects to get serious again.” Representative, I suppose, of the sort of Dezeen commenter who loves on every new windowless concrete bunker unveiling itself as a family home in Osaka.

    Count me among the folks who get excited about cool fresh playful gestures. It’s like the Kapoor piece in Chicago, but with art inside. What’s not to like?

  • Beatrice

    Is this wise? Mirrored building in Dallas has caused great inconvenience to visitors of its art district.

    • It’s not a concave surface and so will not be concentrating sunlight.

      Worse, though, it’s going to make us all look fat.

      • amsam

        Better to fry a few cars and make us look thin. Too late to redesign it?