The MAS, also known as the Museum aan de Stroom, stands as a pioneering institution located in the bustling port of Antwerp. Its primary mission is to narrate the rich history of the city and its interconnections with diverse communities across the globe. Within the MAS, visitors can explore three captivating collections: the Ethnographic Museum, the National Shipping Museum, and the Folklore Museum.
Antwerp’s town council organized an international architecture competition to design the MAS. The winning entry was the striking ‘Stapelhuis’ design by Neutelings Riedijk Architects. As part of the new building, archivists decided that the museum storage areas should feature visible storage, and approached Bruynzeel to install an appropriate system. Visible storage is a method of maximizing public access to museum collections that would otherwise be hidden from public view.
With many museums and galleries holding up to 90 percent of their collection in storage, this technique is becoming more common. In recent years, institutions ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum have adopted visible storage to display elements of their stored collections.
In order to establish a visible storage archive for the Museum aan de Stroom, Bruynzeel implemented a two-tier Double Decker mobile shelving system. This clever solution maximizes the utilization of available space and distinguishes restricted-access areas designated for staff members. By using wire and glass screens, the collection remains visible to the public, ensuring protection from potential damage. The incorporation of the Bruynzeel Double Decker system guarantees the collection's safety and security, while simultaneously enhancing the overall visitor experience.