The roof forest of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen received the Rooftop Award 2020 on Friday, September 4th. Created by Rooftop Revolution, the Rooftop Awards provide a platform for ambitious 'roof innovators'. ‘The depot is a special example of courage, creativity, and revolutionary innovation concerning roofs,' says Jan Henk Tigelaar, Director of Rooftop Revolution. ‘The jury could not ignore this icon.’
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is located in Rotterdam’s Museumpark, and in order to limit impact on the park itself, MVRDV designed an exuberant building with a minimal footprint. Alongside MTD Landscape Architects, MVRDV designed a sixth floor roof forest that consists of grasses and 75 especially cultivated, multi-trunk birches.
The birches were prepared for the new location at height for three years, before being hoisted by crane to the roof of the depot in Spring 2020. A special water system ensures that the trees are never dry. A specialized arborist provides aftercare, and regularly monitors the trees for vitality, health, and moisture.
Winy Maas co-founder MVRDV: 'Roofs are very important in our designs, we make them accessible and often program them as gardens, woods, or event grounds. The depot is a special case; as an accessible art depot, it has a clear public function, but at the same time, it is located in the Museumpark, which we did not want to impact significantly. We solved this by moving the park to a height of 35 metres'.
Maas, who is not only an Architect and Urban Planner, but also a Landscape Architect, attaches great importance to adding natural features to the city: 'For water storage and to prevent fine dust, but above all, to give people additional places where they can breathe. During the corona crisis, we experienced how great the need for greenery in the city is; the depot fits in nicely with this. It is a piece of 'jungle' in Rotterdam which people will soon be able to take an express lift up to, to enjoy the forest, and the spectacular views'.
Depot Boijmans Van Beunigen is a collaboration between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Municipality of Rotterdam and the De Verre Bergen foundation. The depot was designed by MVRDV, and made possible by BAM Bouw en Techniek.
Photo: Sjarel Ex (director Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Arjen Ketting (associate/architect MVRDV) & Michiel van de Bunt (ZinCo)