THE COLLECTION CENTRE NETHERLANDS
Approximately 31,5000 square metres of floor space, of which 25,000 square metres for the storage of a total of 350,000 objects in 39 depots: the law of large numbers dominates the Netherlands Collection Centre. Even location manager Wim Hoeben, who has become used to it by now, finds his head in a spin when the figures are laid on the table. “But I am very happy with it, because this depot is exactly what we need,” he says.
The CCNL was set up in a record time of less than two years. Construction started in May 2018 and the building was completed two years later in 2020. Filling of the storage systems subsequently began and continues in full swing. People are busy in the corridors, elevators and depots, taking all kinds of objects to their destination.
“What Bruynzeel has achieved here in such a short time is also a major achievement.”
The CCNL is scheduled to open its gates on June 7, 2021. The collections of the four participating government institutions will then have found a place for future centuries. The CCNL will be open and accessible to researchers, students, museum colleagues and visitors with a specific question.
The CCNL is unique in the world in more ways than one, says Hoeben. “Nowhere else is there such a large collection of museum objects from one owner – in this case the State – concentrated in one location. It is also the first time that such a large building, compliant with the latest and strictest sustainability and safety requirements, has been specifically designed for this purpose. ”
An severe lack of space at the participating institutions was the direct reason for the construction of the CCNL. Since the major renovation of the museum from 2003 onwards, the collection of The Rijksmuseum has been stored in a ‘temporary’ depot in Lelystad that had not met these requirements for some time. Palace Het Loo, The Dutch Open Air Museum and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands had kept their collections at various locations. Expensive, cumbersome and unsafe.
“Gradually, it became clear that it would be cheaper, easier and safer to store the different collections in one place under optimal conditions,” says Hoeben. “The fact that the collections of the four institutions were 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 best location.
The CCNL 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. The head and neck are light constructions that are used, among other things, as an office, transport spaces, restaurant workshop, staff restaurant and facilities for meetings and conferences. The body is the actual depot, a heavy 24-metre high concrete bunker consisting of four 5.5-metre high floors, supported by about a thousand 24-metre pillars.
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 – an ideal insulation material – temperature is kept constant at 17 degrees and, more importantly, so is 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 this reason, laptops and telephones are never to be left in the depot. As a result, no fire can start in the depot. “However, the CCNL does have an advanced burglary and alarm system.
The energy consumption of the complex is extremely low. 3,600 square meters of solar panels provide for the majority of power, rainwater is collected and reused and the immediate vicinity of CCNL is specifically designed for the development of local flora and fauna. The internationally certified building received five stars for the sustainability of its design and an equally high score is expected for its construction.
The 350,000 approximate number of objects that will be placed in the CCNL in the near future differ greatly in size and shape. In the CCNL one can find the pen and a cigar of “Father Drees” – a well-known Dutch politician – next to carts, agricultural instruments and a barrel organ from the Dutch Open Air Museum. There are paintings and other artefacts of the Rijksmuseum next to 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 for 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? We had considerate and constructive conversations where possible solutions were critically examined by both sides. Details always played a major role in the discussions, because when it comes to the optimal use of space, details count. The people at Bruynzeel were always very precise about this. ”
“All of these artefacts must be stored in an appropriate, responsible manner. That only works with meticulous customisation. Through a European tender, we ended up working with Bruynzeel Storage Systems, with whom we previously had good experiences for our depot in Lelystad. Bruynzeel’s offer was also favourable 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 had quite a discussion about the drive system of the racks and cabinets. Bruynzeel suggested an electronic drive system, but we did not want that. All cabinets, racks and other movable parts are operated by hand. This is not a 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 for 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 smoothly, 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 metres of mesh frame racking, 8,650 square metres of Longspan shelving, 2,400 square metres of cantilever racks, 18,060 square metres of Sysco racks, 960 square metres of mobile bases, 1,287 carpet racks, 3,655 drawers, 117 panel racks and 191 wardrobe cabinets.
The numbers are engraved on a metal plate that Hoeben received from Bruynzeel after completion of the project which now sits on his desk. Like a trophy awarded after an impressive sports performance. “What Bruynzeel has achieved here in such a short time is also a major achievement,” says the location manager.