About Het Depot

The buildings of Het Depot

The Depot is housed at three locations: the main building and De Peppel building on Arboretumlaan, and Villa Hinkeloord on Generaal Foulkesweg. The Depot started in 2004 in Villa Hinkeloord. From 2010, the main building and De Peppel were added. These buildings have been restored over the years under the architecture of Bas van Hille and Mecanoo architects. The latter presented their master plan in 1986.

Villa Hinkeloord

On May 12, 1855, Dirk de Vreede laid the foundation stone for a large villa on the then Arnhemsche Bovenweg on the Wageningse Berg. The villa was named Nagladjoe, in memory of his hometown in the East Indies. The villa was equipped with the most modern gadgets, such as central hot-air heating and a clean water cellar, which came to light during the restoration of the villa in 2002. The family lived there until the end of 1872, when they moved to the Hoogstraat in Wageningen. In that year the villa was given the name Hinkeloord.


Villa Hinkeloord (1855) was restored from top to bottom in the early 2000s under the architecture of Bas van Hille. The windows on the four facades ensure that light comes in on all sides. The sculptures bask in the light. The design language of the new responds to the detailed, fairly strict and rectangular shape of the old villa.

The tower consists of a closed part and a glass part. The open and closed parts partly slide over each other and partly past each other, creating different perspectives, different views. The plates with holes are made of pre-patinated copper.


The richly decorated gutter can be seen from the bridges – tunnels with a very thin floor, ceiling and large plates of glass. The view is beautiful.


The new building 'grows' out of the ground at the rear. This part is finished with Belgian bluestone, a material that is also used in the Villa itself. The basement of the new building mainly consists of the new exhibition hall. Natural light enters the room and there is a direct relationship with the garden.

Architectural highlights of Bremer and Mecanoo

Until mid-2011, the main building of Het Depot and the De Peppel building were used by Wageningen University as a library, various laboratories and a Botanical Center, with Arboretum De Dreijen next to these buildings.
The university withdrew from this educational complex and for a while it seemed that some buildings would be demolished. Het Depot put a stop to this.


Bremer's craftsmanship
The library and the extension of the Botanical Laboratory are examples of neo-modernism at the end of the 20th century. Both buildings form a strategic 'embrace' of the inconspicuous old building where botany education was taught for three quarters of a century.

With the old building, Government Architect G.C. Bremer paid tribute to what was described at the time as 'business expressionism'. Bremer, however, was not so businesslike and added a number of frivolous features to his design. He chose a yellow variety of stone for the exterior walls, which stood on a plinth of purple-red bricks. The differently colored plinth appears to be a support for the long rows of windows in the rooms on the ground floor. The building itself consists of different building volumes. Large and small block boxes together form an elongated side, front and rear facade, which is recessed at the entrance.

The De Peppel Building
The former library is now called De Peppel, and is currently the location for the educational programs of Het Depot and houses a permanent exhibition by sculptor Emile van der Kruk. The name De Peppel refers to the poplar: a special tree and a type of wood that Emile van der Kruk prefers to work with.
Architectural firm Mecanoo came up with De Peppel's design. In 1986 – when Mecanoo was just established – a pleasant-looking box made of brick, aluminum and planks of wood was created.

The 'Banana'
The expansion of the Botanical Laboratory with the new building quickly acquired the nickname The Banana due to its curved shape. The Banana, which housed several laboratories, was also part of Mecanoo's Master Plan in 1988. The building was completed in 1991. It forms the conclusion of the entire project and is therefore located on the edge of it. At the rear, the building has a lot of glass overlooking the arboretum.

Renovation 2010/2012

In 2010, the buildings came into the possession of the Het Depot Foundation. During the renovation that followed, the buildings were adapted to their new use by architect Bas van Hille. Van Hille moved and renovated the entrance, creating plenty of space for receiving groups of visitors. After the cloakroom, the public can go to the shop, the concert hall, a small room with information about the arboreta or through a long corridor to the changing exhibitions. An enclosed water feature – which offers a meditative moment – is clearly visible from the entrance hall and forms an essential part of the surrounding nature.


After the renovation, the restaurant, which has a kind of hinge function on the ground floor, can immediately be seen from The Banana. From here you walk into the exhibition rooms, which are closed on the short side with a monochrome colored wall. The glass on the Arboretum side ensures that the building receives optimal daylight and that there is always visual contact with nature. Too direct sunlight is prevented by the permanent presence of wooden slats. They ensure that the light usually enters in a nicely filtered manner.

Color is unmistakably present in every room. And not one color is the same: variants of blue and red, ranging from bright and light to deep dark, alternate. A light type of oak has been chosen almost everywhere on the floor, with the exception of the reception hall where natural stone runs from the outside in. The walls in the old and new buildings attract the light and then reflect it. You can see this most clearly in the long downstairs rooms of The Banana. The color blue works well with the light filtered through the surrounding trees. The color also strengthens the visual axis.


Restaurant Linnaeus
The architect opted for a design in the restaurant with lots of white and green on the seating furniture. This is to strengthen the bond with nature, which waves in through the windows to the terrace. This makes Het Depot an art space with a special view of the outdoor space.