In the middle of the Museum Park, MTD landscape architects, in close collaboration with MVRDV, have designed a special public meeting place around and on top of the new Boijmans van Beuningen Depot in Rotterdam. With the Depot, Boijmans van Beuningen is the first museum in the world to offer access to its complete collection. Visitors can wander among no fewer than 151,000 different works of art and see how art is restored and conserved. The starting point for the unique building was the concept that art should be experienced as much as possible and accessible to people. The public square and roof landscape on top of the building contribute to this openness and accessibility and add an intimate and exclusive place to stay in the city.

The first commitment for the design for the square and roof landscape is to give the environment around the depot its own identity, in the form of a green forest world. The plan with shards structure extends from the forecourt to the roof landscape 32 meters higher, so that ground level and roof form one robust and cohesive landscape; the square thus forms the roof and the roof is the square. The carefully positioned shards form planters, drainage lines and wooden benches and suggest that the depot has ‘landed’ here, as it were. The vegetation of Pinus nigra, Betula pendula and the stinzen planting ensures that the visitor imagines himself in a ‘forest room’. This vegetation matches the climatic conditions of the forecourt as well as the roof landscape and forms a coherent and sustainable ecosystem. The planting areas in the forecourt have been raised because of the high groundwater levels in the area. As a result, the trees are higher and their viability is guaranteed.

The leafy square provides an open space for small scale events such as the Parade. This will make it part of Rotterdam’s urban life.

The Depot’s spectacular mirrored facade reflects the leafy surroundings to the maximum, making the forecourt feel like an intimate green space for meeting and contemplation. The roof has limited public access and offers a surprising and exclusive view of the Museum Park and the skyline of Rotterdam from the terrace and the ‘forest edge’.

Project Data

Landscape Architects: MTD landscape architects

Surface: 0.75 ha, waarvan 2.825 m2 daktuin
Year of design: 2015 – 2018
Year of fulfilment: 2019 – 2021
Activities: MTD Layout of the roof garden, surroundings and museum entrance Collection building Design, technical elaboration as well as specifications part for the roof garden and tree selection
Competence: public space, terrains around buildings, built elements
Photography: Joep Jacobs

Streetview may show condition before the intervention

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