Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen re-evaluates design plans

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen re-evaluates design plans

ROTTERDAM, 6 APRIL 2023 – The Rotterdam municipality is taking an intermediate step in the design process for the renovation of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. This decision, made in consultation with the museum and Mecanoo, comes after the preliminary design was found to be significantly pricier than the initially approved project budget.

Intermediate cost estimates exceed project budget

In November 2022, two external agencies were asked by the municipality to provide cost estimates based on the preliminary design, earlier than usual in the process. These estimates exceeded the project budget of €223 million by €35 to €70 million, with a considerable portion of the costs arising from the restoration and renovation of the oldest part of the building, the Van der Steur national monument, and the creation of a new logistics centre behind the building in the Museumpark.

(Pre) advice from advisory groups, aesthetics commission, and cultural heritage agency

In addition to the preliminary design cost calculations, feedback was sought from an external advisory group, the Commission for Aesthetics and Monuments, and the Cultural Heritage Agency (Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed). Opinions varied, with concerns primarily focused on the entrance area along Museumparkstraat, which is intended to make the museum more accessible to the city and the public. Critics also raised issues regarding the potential impact on the building's monumental value.

Next steps in the design process

The municipality, museum directorate, and architect are engaged in ongoing discussions to determine the necessary adjustments to the renovation design. The city council will be informed of the findings and conclusions before the summer recess. Meanwhile, essential preparations will continue to prevent further deterioration of the building's condition. At present, the extent of any potential delays and the financial implications resulting from the design process interruption are unclear.

The municipality, museum directorate, and architect are working together to develop a widely supported process and design for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; one that respects the building's monumental status, its unique international collection, and its significance for the people of Rotterdam and the city.

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