Project Management Institute

Reflective Mood

A New Storage Facility for Art Will Be an Attraction in and of Itself

“A public art depot is a new phenomenon to the Netherlands. Normally these depots are hidden in the periphery of cities.”

—MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas, to Dezeen



When is a storage facility more than a storage facility? When it's designed to be a work of art in and of itself.

Such is the case with the MVRDV-designed Boijmans Van Beuningen Depot. The facility, slated to open to the public in 2021, features a round, reflective facade that tapers outward from 40 meters (131 feet) at the base to 60 meters (197 feet) at the rooftop gardens. Just as striking as the depot's exterior is its intended purpose inside: to allow public access to the 70,000 artworks from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen that will be stored there.

The project is part of a larger €223 million program to radically redesign the Rotterdam, Netherlands museum, which closes its doors this month and is slated to reopen in 2026. But the museum won't be going totally dark during that seven-year period. The team has launched a host of projects, including relocating prominent art pieces into eight local museums, moving 145,000 books into a special public reading room, designing a traveling exhibit that spans national and international art venues, creating a curriculum for primary and secondary schools that will feature in-person artworks, as well as not-yet-announced digital and virtual projects.


Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen renovation


€223 million


Depot slated to open in 2021. Museum slated to reopen 2026.


In nearby Amsterdam, three museums—the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk and National Maritime Museum—were closed for years during lengthy renovations in the past decade. All three projects went over budget and over schedule.

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