Tennisball Bench

Photo: Mels v. Zuphten
Photo: Mels v. Zuphten
Photo: Mels v. Zuphten
Photo: Mels v. Zuphten

Client: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen/Kossman de Jong Exhibition Architects

Location: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Material: Tennisballs, steel, silicone adhesive

Year: 2003

Museum collections sometimes resemble living creatures: they grow. In the digital depot of the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum this is apparent. By means of digital presentations it is possible for visitors to acquaint themselves with the entire museum collection. For instance, there's a projected digital data cloud, constructed from small balls each representing an object of art. They make the sheer size of the collection palpable. Also the're projection screens zooming in on the world behind an object of art.

The six seating elements in the digital depot are designed by Remy&Veenhuizen. The units invite visitors to sit down, rest or look around. What attracts immediate attention is the fact that the units are different in size. Starting point for these designs was the idea that the museum collection expands like a body. Subsequently this idea led to the seating units being formed by cell division: by means of connecting the same basic element (a tennisball) over and over again, the units represent organisms in different stages of growth. Depending on its size, the units offer seating capacity from two to several visitors.

Although the material has probably never been used for furniture before, it appears to be made for this purpose. The tennisball not only has an appropriate molecule- like shape, it is also soft on the outside. The upholstery of the seating unit is therefore already enclosed in the smallest part of the unit, the ball itself.