Rooftop award 2020 for forest on art depot, Rotterdam
The roof forest of museum depot Boijmans Van Beuningen received the Dutch Rooftop Award 2020 for its publicly accessible forest. Situated on the sixth floor at a height of 35 metres the roof forest offers visitors a panoramic view of the city of Rotterdam.
The award ceremony took place during a live streamed conference on 4 September that marked the activities of the Rooftop Revolution foundation.
The construction of the depot of the Boijmans Van Beuningen art museum has been completed only very recently and has not yet been officially opened. Some 150.000 pieces of art will be stored in the depot, making the roof design even more remarkable as the construction has to deal with the roots of the trees to make absolutely sure there can be no leakages.
‘The depot is a special example of courage, creativity, and revolutionary innovation concerning roofs,' says Jan Henk Tigelaar, Director of Rooftop Revolution foundation. ‘The jury could not ignore this icon.’
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is located in a park, and in order to limit impact on the park itself, MVRDV architects designed an exuberant building with a minimal footprint. Together with MTD Landscape Architects, MVRDV also designed the roof forest on the sixth floor that consists of grasses and 75 especially cultivated, multi-trunk birches.
Moving the park to the roof
Winy Maas co-founder MVRDV: 'Roofs are very important in our designs, we make them accessible and often program them as gardens, woods, or event grounds. The depot is a special case; as an accessible art depot it has a clear public function. But at the same time, it is located in the Museum park, which we did not want to impact significantly. We solved this by moving the park to a height of 35 metres.'
The birches were prepared for the new location at height for three years, before being hoisted by crane to the roof of the depot in Spring 2020. A special water system ensures that the trees are never dry. A specialised arborist provides aftercare, and regularly monitors the trees for vitality, health, and moisture.
The conference on 4 September organised by Rooftop Revolution discussed the various potential functions of roofs.
City planners encouraged to fully develop the multi-functional potential of roofs, other than just to live under. Either as a garden, to grow vegetables or for its cooling abilities. Or for water storage, but also to slowdown rain water discharge to prevent a peak load on the sewer systems. And something that becomes more popular, solar panels for green energy.
Participants of the conference urged cities to carefully study all these options as in different districts of a city different priorities may prevail. For instance in flood prone areas the water storage can have priority, where as in high-density areas the green -and cooling- function of a roof top can be more important.