This afternoon September 16, the cepezed-designed EYE Collection Center was officially opened by Minister Jet Bussemaker of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The center is situated in the new archives building Depot Amsterdam in Amsterdam-Noord, in the direct vicinity of EYE’s museum premises along the IJ river. The new Collection Center concentrates three working areas: conservation, restoration and research. Curators, restorers and archive staff, a total of seventy including volunteers, now work together under one roof. With a floor space of circa 5,800 sqm, the building offers the perfect storage and archiving conditions for the collections of the film institute. Thus, it forms a sustainable solution for the problems with the former storage spaces, which were inefficiently scattered over several locations and largely insufficient. Because of their highly inflammable nature, only the nitrate-based films of the museum are still located somewhere else. Aside from the depots, the new building contains a state of the art expert center where recovery of vulnerable material takes place and an international public of scientists, cinematographers and students can study the film and other collections of EYE.
The Collection Center has four storeys and a sleek design with a skin of profiled sheeting and glass. Along the street, it has a double-height transparent and inviting plinth over the full length. Herein the offices as well as research and restoration workspaces with accompanying facilities are located. The plinth also houses EYE Study, where professionals can research the collections of films, DVD’s, books, magazines, scripts, posters, photographs, personal and institutional archives, audio, scores and cinematic equipment. EYE also preserves set pieces. The multifunctional cinema room seats 30 and is used for press presentations, academic workshops, screenings with film makers and so on.
In total, Depot Amsterdam contains eleven depots of 300 sqm each, eight of which are now in use by EYE. The storages fully comply with all the legal requirements as outlined in the Archive Regulations. Both the temperature and humidity are adjustable. All the depots are opened up through one central and vertical zone. Perforation in the profiled sheeting along this zone generates extra daylight access here and at the same time subtly accentuates the position of the main entrance below it. The façade corners have carefully been crafted at a 45 degree angle, which strongly contributes to the building’s abstract appearance. PV-panels are mounted on the roof. With white stripe-signing aesthetically in keeping with the texture of the profiled façade sheeting, a large logo of EYE has been applied to the exterior.
Depot Amsterdam has been realized by WAD Depots and is in trend with museum collections finding accommodation in systemized private real estate in metropolitan peripheries. The construction is the first Dutch commercial storage for cultural collections especially erected for this goal. Earlier this year, in a coverage about cultural depots, the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad extensively highlighted the advantages of standardized depots. Depot Amsterdam was brought forward as a striking and cost efficient example.