The Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, designed by MVRDV, was awarded a prize during the Building of the Year evening last night. It won in the category “stimulating environments”, with the jury of experts noting that it was “deeply impressed by the spectacular inner world and moved by the art that is made accessible to a wide audience”. They praised the depot as a new museum typology that attracts many people with its perfectly finished mirrored facade.
The award was presented by the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA) during an annual evening in which the buildings that offer the most added value for the client and for society are honoured. According to the jury, the depot, which was opened by King Willem-Alexander in November 2021 and has since attracted 100,000 visitors, proves its added value through, among other things, “the spectacular entrance and staircase, walkable display cases and the display window-like depot” that “stimulate the visitor to view the art from different perspectives”.
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is the first publicly accessible depot in the world. The assignment was to design a building that would be as inviting as possible and where different target groups would feel welcome. It should emphatically not become a second museum where only a small percentage of the collection can be exhibited, but an engine room that reveals the world behind the storage and maintenance and of a dazzling number of art and design works. Visiting the depot becomes a completely new experience: the art is arranged according to size and climate requirements, not art history periods. Old and contemporary works are juxtaposed, inviting new connections to be made.
The MVRDV team, led by architect and urban planner Winy Maas, opted for a round and sturdy work building that never turns its back on its neighbours and that establishes a new relationship with both the Museumpark and the city of Rotterdam. The ambition was to create a building that feels light and transparent, but at the same time is a safe house for the collection, which is worth billions.
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is a collaboration between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the municipality of Rotterdam and Stichting De Verre Bergen. The Depot was designed by MVRDV and built by BAM Bouw en Techniek.
Read more about the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen here.