COLLECTION CENTRE NETHERLANDS
Approximately 31,5000 square meters of floor space, of which 25,000 square meters for the storage of a total of 350,000 objects in 39 depots: the law of large numbers dominates the Collection Center Netherlands. Even location manager Wim Hoeben, who has become used to it by now, his head is spinning when the figures go over the table. “But I am very happy with it, because this depot is exactly what we need,” he says.
The CC NL has been set up in record time of less than two years. Construction started in May 2018 and the building was completed in the summer of 2020. After which they could begin filling the storage systems, which is still in full swing. In the corridors, elevators and depots people come and go, taking all kinds of objects to their destination.
“An outstanding achievement”
The CC NL is scheduled to open its gates on June 7 2021. Then the collections of the four participating government institutions will have found a place for the coming centuries. The CC NL will be open and accessible to researchers, students, museum colleagues and visitors with a specific question.
The CC NL is unique in the world, in more ways than one, says Hoeben. “Nowhere else is such a large collection of museum objects from one owner, in this case the State, concentrated in one location. And it is also the first time that such a large building, which meets all modern strict sustainability, usage and safety requirements, has been specifically designed for that purpose. ”
An acute lack of space at the participating institutions was the direct reason for the construction of the CC NL. Since the major renovation of the museum from 2003 onwards, the collection of The Rijksmuseum has been stored in a ‘temporary’ depot in Lelystad, The Netherlands, that has not met the requirements for some time. Palace Het Loo, The Dutch Open Air Museum and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands kept their collections at various locations. Expensive, cumbersome and unsafe.
“Gradually, the realization has grown that it would be cheaper, easier and safer to store the different collections in one place and under optimal conditions,” says Hoeben. “The fact that the collections of the four institutions are state property facilitated that step.” A piece of land on the outskirts of Amersfoort – well above NAP, centrally located and easily accessible by public transport – turned out to be the optimal location.
The CC NL is a design by the architectural firm cepezed from Delft and consists of three parts that Hoeben describes as the head, the neck and the body. Head and neck are light constructions that are used, among other things, as an office, transport spaces, restaurant workshop, staff restaurant and meeting and conference facilities. The body is actually the depot, a heavy concrete bunker 24 meters high and consisting of four 5.5 meters high floors, supported by about a thousand piles of 24 meters long.
The big advantage of this heavy construction is that weather and temperature have no influence on the indoor climate. Within the depots, covered with sand-lime brick – perfect insulation material – , there is a constant temperature of approximately 17 degrees and – more importantly – a stable air humidity.
A climate system is superfluous and even sprinklers or other extinguishing systems are missing. Hoeben: “In the evening we switch off all power in the depot so that no fire can arise. For that reason, laptops and telephones should never be left in the depot. As a result, no fire can start in the depot. ” However, the CC NL does have an advanced burglary and alarm system.
The energy consumption of the complex is extremely low. 3,600 square meters of solar panels largely provide for its own energy needs, rainwater is collected and reused and the immediate vicinity of CC NL is optimally designed for the development of local flora and fauna. The internationally certified building received five stars for the sustainability of the design, and they expect an equally high score for the implementation.
The approximately 350,000 objects that will be placed in the CC NL in the coming period differ greatly in size and shape. In the CC NL you will find the pen and a cigar of “Father Drees” – a well-known Dutch politician – next to the carts, agricultural instruments and a barrel organ from the Dutch Open Air Museum. The paintings and other artefacts of the Rijksmuseum next to the archaeological treasures from the collection of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.
In close collaboration with Bruynzeel, a design plan was drawn up that offered safe storage to all objects. Hoeben: “We drew up a schedule of requirements and then entered into discussions about this with the project leaders and experts at Bruynzeel. How are we going to solve this complicated puzzle? That were pleasant, constructive conversations, where the possibilities were critically examined from both sides. Details always played a major role in those discussions, because when it comes to optimal use of space, details count. The people at Bruynzeel were always very precise about this.”
“All these artefacts must be stored in an appropriate, responsible manner. That only works with meticulous customization. Via a European tender, we ended up with Bruynzeel Storage Systems, with whom we previously had good experiences for our depot in Lelystad. Bruynzeel’s offer was also favorable from a price point of view.”
Often, mainly for cost reasons, standard solutions were chosen, sometimes adapted and modified to specific requirements. In other cases a completely new design had to be made. Hoeben: “We have had quite a discussion about the drive system of the racks and cabinets. Bruynzeel wanted an electronic drive system, but we did not want that. All cabinets, racks and other movable parts are operated by hand. No problem, because it is very light to operate. ”
Hoeben praises Bruynzeel’s eye for detail. At a concrete pillar, he crouches to point out the metal strip around the pillar as protection against damage. “Extraordinary that they have also thought of such small things.”
He is very pleased with the work and commitment of Bruynzeel’s assembly teams. “They knew exactly what they were doing. They worked at a fast pace, but also very neatly and without leaving a mess. It all went without saying, we hardly had to worry about it. I really got to admire those people. ”
In barely ten months, the Bruynzeel assembly teams installed 24,250 square meters of mesh frame racking, 8,650 square meters of Longspan shelving, 2,400 square meters of cantilever racks, 18,060 square meters of Sysco racks, 960 square meters of mobile bases, 1,287 carpet racks, 3,655 drawers, 117 panel racks and 191 wardrobes in cabinets.
The numbers are cut out in a metal plate that Hoeben received from Bruynzeel after completion of the project and that now is on his desk. Like a trophy awarded after an impressive sports performance.
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