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New From MVRDV: A Giant Mirrored Funhouse Filled With Art

Dutch design firm MVRDV has unveiled its winning design for a building in Rotterdam that will be part art museum, part living sculpture.

Dutch architectural firm MVRDV has just unveiled its winning design for the Collection Building, a public “art depot” for the Museum Boijmans Von Beuningen, to be built in Rotterdam’s Museumpark. It resembles a giant bowl-shaped funhouse mirror topped with a lovely green hairdo of a roof garden.

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MVRDV’s design, which will be completed in 2017, lives up to the firm’s reputation for the futuristic and whimsical: They’re the masterminds behind the unique Barcode Villa, a community residence that’s also a digital collage, and these insane, obsessive Lego sculptures. The renderings reveal a bowl-shaped building with a mirrored façade meant to reflect its surroundings in slight fish-eyed distortion. The mirrors also let the building take on the color scheme of the surrounding environment while appearing to glow in the light. Glass windows effectively erase blocks of the reflection, creating a glitchy, pixelated effect.


The rooftop sculpture garden will house a restaurant and an outdoor exhibition space. The cherry on top of this space-age design is the Futuro: a prefabricated UFO-shaped pod house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the 1960s. The museum acquired one of the few remaining Futuro houses and the roof will be its new home, amongst other sculptures like a Koons’s balloon dog.

Inside, the compact floors are crossed by a route called the Zigzag, which, yes, zigzags its way from the first floor to the roof garden. It passes through gallery spaces and exhibitions, which can easily rotate exhibitions via a system of moving storage racks. About 40% of the building will be accessible to the public–the rest of it will house office space, restoration facilities, and private collectors’ facilities.


“A public art depot is a new phenomenon to the Netherlands, normally these depots are hidden in the periphery of cities. It is a bold initiative which will raise the attention of the international museum circles. It offers space to Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and will help it to strengthen its international profile,” Winy Maas, a founding member of MVRVD, said in a statement.

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About the author

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering art and design. Follow her on Twitter.

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