An exclusive opportunity to explore Rotterdam's architectural marvels through maquette models of existing landmarks as well as unrealized projects during Art Rotterdam at the Van Nelle Factory.
Open maquette depot offers a glimpse into Rotterdam's architectural heritage
During Art Rotterdam on 1 and 2 February, Nieuwe Instituut's Open Maquette Depot at the Van Nelle Factory will be accessible to visitors, offering a rare insight into both celebrated and unrealized Rotterdam buildings through its collection of approximately 700 maquettes. This event marks a unique occasion as the depot is usually not open to the public, and entry will be free of charge.
The orange-coloured maquette depot, part of the State Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning managed by the New Institute, contains around four million items including design drawings and other archival materials from some of the Netherlands' most renowned architects. The collection represents a significant component of Dutch architectural history.
Unlike a museum, the depot primarily serves as a workspace for collection managers to perform restorations and prepare loans and transport for exhibitions. Its design, a vast climate-controlled cabinet of 460 m2 created by Broekbakema architects and placed within the Schiehal of the Van Nelle Factory in 2005, is an architectural feat in itself.
Unique view of Rotterdam's buildings
The depot showcases a selection of both large-scale models and smaller, fragile pieces from Dutch design heritage, including unrealized projects. Notably, Rotterdam's architectural landmarks are well represented, featuring models such as the colossal plaster competition models for the new city hall from 1912, the Markthal, the Paperklip, café De Unie, the Beursgebouw, the Rivierahal of Blijdorp, the Industriegebouw, and designs for the Putselaan, the Müllerpier, and the Witte Dorp, as well as a model of the New Institute itself.
The Open Maquette Depot can be visited during Art Rotterdam on Thursday, 1 February, from 16:00 to 19:00, and Friday, 2 February, from 10:00 to 19:00. Entry is free, and no Art Rotterdam ticket is required. Collection managers will be on hand for tours and questions. The depot is located in Schiehal A at the Van Nelle Design Factory, Van Nelleweg 1, Rotterdam. For more information, please visit the New Institute's website.
In addition, the New Institute is currently hosting 'Netherlands on the Drawing Board', an exhibition celebrating the rich Dutch history of spatial planning and design, commemorating the centenary of the State Collection.
Directions to the Van Nelle Factory
The Van Nelle Factory, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an emblem of modernist architecture, is situated on the outskirts of Rotterdam. It's easily accessible by public transport, bike, or car. For visitors coming by public transport, buses and trams connect the factory to Rotterdam's central areas, making it a straightforward journey for those attending the Open Maquette Depot.