Commissioned by WAD archief depots cepezed designed the new Open Depot in Oegstgeest which will contain the joint art depot en restoration ateliers for several museums and private individuals. It will be a compact and efficient building that guarantees optimal storage conditions through modern building technics and climate control while at the same time saving tremendously on operational costs. The design responds to the increasing demand to show the treasures that mostly remain behind closed doors and for open restoration ateliers, giving public the chance to see what’s in the art storages and how restorers work. The new premises will arise on the former MEOB site along the A44 motorway, clearly visible from the road. The facade on the motorway side will fulfill a shopwindow and exhibit function with its high space for artifacts or digital projections. Hence the art depot will be distinguishing mark for the collections.
A broad light street runs perpendicular in the rectangular building volume and gives access tot the depot spaces. This central ‘canyon’ reaching the full building height also contains the expedition and employee entrance, a hoist for heavy objects, the vertical accesses and on each floor bridges connection the building’s front and back part. The floors with depot spaces are clearly visible in the canyon providing overview and orientation for employees and letting visitors experience the magnitude of the collection.
There are two separate circuits, for the employees and receiving guests and for the public. Due to a clear hierarchy and routing these traffic flows don’t cross. The one for the employees has maximum efficiency, the one for the public is inviting and educating.
The route for the public runs perpendicular to the canyon, leading visitors from the double height entrance, via the stairs through the more enclosed and dimmed part up to the open and light filled panorama deck on the second floor. Here one can wander further through the transparant viewing depot containing changing exhibitions, the high shopwindow space on the motorway side and take a peek into the ateliers.
The closed depots on the first, third and fourth floors have no columns and are flexible in layout. Space-efficient mobile storage shelvings are easily incorporated into the structure. For the climate control for part of the depot the design will rely on the so called Scandinavian model. This encompasses regulating the air humidity by letting the inside temperature shadow the outside temperature. This system delivers very stable storage conditions for the artifacts while at the same time saving on energy.
The facade contains corten steel cladding and glass. The visitor entrance, the various work and meeting spaces as well as the panorama deck and high shopwindow space lie behind the transparant glass ribbon that cuts the closed upper and lower steel panels. This gives the new Open Depot interesting elevations and a remarkable appearance.