The public art depot for the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen features exhibition halls, a sculpture roof garden and a restaurant, in addition to an enormous amount of storage space for art. 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 under ideal museum conditions. The design – a reflective round volume – responds to its surroundings, Rotterdam’s Museumpark in which it will be completed in 2019.



Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Year: 2013+

Client: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, De Verre Bergen Foundation, Municipality of Rotterdam

Program: 15,000m2 art depot with restoration facilities, exhibition spaces, offices, logistics, bar, restaurant, sculpture garden and private collectors facilities.

Budget: EURO 28.5 million 



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.


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.


The Collection Building will be realised on the northern edge of Rotterdam's 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 façade. 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 be as sustainable as possible, equal to the level of BREEAM Excellent.



Design: MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries 

Project Team: Winy Maas, Fokke Moerel with Sanne van der Burgh, Arjen Ketting, Gerard Heerink, Jason Slabbynck and Jan Knikker

Competition Team: Winy Maas, Fokke Moerel with Sanne van der Burgh, Marta Pozo Gil, Gerard Heerink, Elien Deceuninck, Saimon Gomez Idiakez, Nacho Velasco, Jason Slabbynck, Mariya Gyaurova and Lukasz Brzozowski

Visualisation: Antonio Luca Coco, Matteo Artico and Carlo Cattó



Contractor: BAM

Structure: IMd Raadgevend Ingenieurs

Cost engineering: BBN 

Installations: RHDHV

Façade consultants: ABT

Building Physics: Peutz

Sustainability: BREEAM Excellent (goal)

Images: MVRDV

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