Wayfinding for wanderers

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is the world’s first publicly accessible art depot. Inside the iconic building, visitors are immersed in what goes on behind the scenes of a museum and experience what maintaining and caring for an art collection with great diversity actually entails. Silo developed the visitor experience for the utility building, emphasising discovery and collection.


Boijmans Van Beuningen


App development: IN10/Door
Development dashboard and narrowcasting: SummitDis
Corporate identity: Thonik


Silver Cube ADC New York Annual Awards, Wood Pencil D&AD Awards London

Work building behind the showroom

Depot is not a museum but a functionally designed work building for preserving, restoring, packaging and transporting artworks. In some spaces, you are welcome; in others, you are triggered to peek inside. The idea that you are ‘behind the scenes’ during your visit is translated into an integral concept for interaction, digital screens, wayfinding and signage, and designed as an extension of the architecture.

© Mike Bink

Operations control centre

In the entrance zone, where visitors gather for guided tours, hangs an enormous digital dashboard, as you would expect in the control room of a warehouse. It displays not only visitor information but also a cross-section of the building and data about the collection and climate zones in the building. Live camera feeds show what is currently happening in the building.

Wayfinding collection for Depot

You get the feeling of having accidentally walked into the staff entrance of a museum.”

Signage as an extension of the architecture

In the atrium with its spectacular zigzagging stairs, the emphasis is on the art objects you see behind the large windows of the depots and inside the thirteen floating glass display cases. Coding and functional identification for rooms are derived from the building plans and subtly applied as if printed into the concrete. The illuminated directional signs in the entrance area and on the 6th floor have also been carefully integrated into the concrete, glass and grey interior: neutral, modular and functional.

Next to the depots, touch screens offer you more in-depth information about what goes on behind the windows.

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Behind the scenes

Touch screens hang next to the actual windows of the depots. In line with the visitor experience concept, Silo developed an application that gives you access to videos with facts & figures, information about collection preservation and management, and portraits of the professionals working at the Depot. More information about the art objects in the showcases and depots is unlocked through QR codes and an app developed by IN10/Door.

© Mike Bink

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