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Dutch fashion label Francon chose the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam as the venue for its latest collection. A special building, designed by the MVRDV architectural studio, which serves as an archive for the museum of the same name, but which is also the first of its kind to be accessible to the public. 

Many museums, especially international ones, can only present 6% to 7% of their collections in exhibitions. The remaining works are locked away, far from sight in storage. This is a tradition that the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum wanted to break with the MVRDV competition. The design of the 39.5-meter-high, egg-shaped building makes all artifacts visible. A visit to the building is also an opportunity to observe the processes of conservation and restoration, packaging, and transportation of the artworks. Surrounded by art, visitors are led up through the atrium by five large zigzag staircases, to the exhibition rooms and curatorial studios, but also to the roof. The atrium is filled with thirteen glass display cases that show a “lightly organized” and ever-changing selection of the repository’s many treasures. Other artworks are packed, hung on a rack, and displayed in a cabinet, but visitors can submit requests to see particular pieces.

Lisa Agostini