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Depot Boijmans van Beuningen: the first public depot in the world

By Julia Den Outer
March 17, 2023

Good to mention right away: Depot Boijmans van Beuningen is not a museum. The depot is the storage place for more than 151,000 works of art. This means that you won’t see the artworks like usual in a curated exhibition. Instead, the works are stored together in different compartments. This way you can see the entire collection that the Boijmans has in store, instead of just selected works.

Depot Boijmans van Beuningen is one of the architectural highlights of Rotterdam. It is then a real eye-catcher with the mirrored exterior and unusual shape. Even more special is the roof park on top. Here you have a beautiful view of the city. Oh don’t forget, you can also eat a delicious dinner here.

Discover even more beautiful museums in Rotterdam.


Depot Boijmans van Beuningen: practical information

Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode.

Planning your visit & entrance fees Depot Boijmans van Beuningen

Naturally you’ll need a valid entrance ticket for the depot. When buying your entrance ticket, you choose an arrival time in which you must arrive at the museum. Once inside you can stay as long as you want (as long as you’re out again at 5 o’clock of course). The time slots go every 20 minutes, so there is always a time that’ll suits you. In the unlikely event that you don’t make the time, you can easily rebook your ticket.

  • Adults – €20
  • up to 18 years – free
  • Friends of Boijmans Van Beuningen – free
  • Students, CJP – €10.50
  • Museum Card, Rotterdam Pass, ICOM, Rembrandt Association, VriendenLoterij VIP CARD – € 1

Buy your tickets for Depot Boijmans van Beuningen

Opening hours Depot Boijmans van Beuningen

Tuesday to Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.

Location Depot Boijmans van Beuningen

Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode.

Depot Boijmans van Beuningen is located in the Museum Park, next to the (temporarily closed) Boijmans van Beuningen museum. You can easily get here by public transport via the Eendrachtsplein metro stop. From Central Station you have to change metro’s once at Beurs. You can also take the tram, line 7, directly from Central Station and get off at the Museumpark stop. Not in the mood for public transport? It is a nice walk from the station, it will take you about 20 minutes.


Museumpark 24, CX Rotterdam


Depot Boijmans van Beuningen: the building

Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode.


The depot, opened in 2021, was designed by the world-famous Rotterdam architectural firm MVRDV. For example, they also designed the Markthal and Didden Village. The entire bowl-shaped exterior is covered with mirrors, 1664 pieces in total. Many mirrors have been adopted by fellow Rotterdammers, in order to also contribute and own a small part of the building.

Because of the narrow bottom of the depot you can still see the surroundings of the Museumpark. It is also a striking and at the same time unobtrusive building: this because the surrounding park is reflected in the building. As mentioned before, there is a roof park on top of the 7 floors. You can visit this before 6pm if you have a ticket for the depot. After 6pm to 10pm this part is freely accessible.

Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode.


The depot is just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. You walk through the atrium via floating stairs, where you immediately encounter many works of art. The glass design makes it a special experience to walk here. For the real architecture connoisseur, the staircase system is reminiscent of the sketches of the Italian architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

Fourteen climate-controlled rooms have been set up in the depot to store the works of art under exactly the right conditions. As a result, the works are stored according to climatic requirements, and not according to type of art. There are also several open spaces to visit.

The Depot Boijmans van Beuningen is a working building. Works are restored here, but also packed to be moved, for example. You will come across this at least once during your visit to the depot.


Depot Boijmans van Beuningen: exhibitions & activities

Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode


As already mentioned, the depot is not a traditional museum with new exhibitions every few months. Instead, various works can be seen in the atrium. In addition, you can do a guided entry tour, free of charge, that allows you to see all storage and work areas. This tour takes half an hour and is free of charge.

The Depot Boijmans van Beuningen also often conducts research of it’s own works. For example, the relationship between the colonial and slavery past and the museum collection is now being looked into. Small exhibitions can sometimes be seen in the various open spaces in the depot. The Boijmans also occasionally takes on an artist in residence who takes a whole new look at the collection.

In the evening, after sunset, you can check out the artwork of Pipilotti Rist. This work, called ‘The Waste of Life on You’ is a mix between light and video art. Coloured light bubbles appear around the Depot that you can step into. Rist herself describes it best as an ‘urban electronic bonfire’.


Is there a specific work from the 151,000 that you would love to see? On certain Thursdays you can view a work that you have requested. You’ll suddenly find yourself face-to-face with your favorite work of art.

Photo by Iris van den Broek

On top of the depot you will find restaurant Renilde. Get some lunch here when you’re visiting the depot. In the evening, the restaurant is open to everyone. At Renilde you can have a chic dinner with a beautiful view. Choose a 6, 5 or 4 course dinner.


So there is plenty to see and experience at the depot! This iconic building is definitely worth a visit. Which museums do you like best in Rotterdam?

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