Case studies

Below we will illustrate a few large projects on which Katoen Natie Business Unit Art has worked the past years.

Private storage for a large museum

In 2009 Katoen Natie was contacted by a large Antwerp museum regarding a private depot for their art collection. The museum would be closed for approx. 10 years so they would need ateliers, depots, offices, loading and unloading areas, quarantine zones, … acclimatized in accordance with the highest museum standards.
This museum filed a very extensive public tender and Katoen Natie won with its proposal. This was the start of a public-private cooperation.

Katoen Naties Business Unit Engineering and Business Unit Art put their heads together to combine the experiences of both to live up to the expectations and to deliver by each deadline.
Teams of both BU’s started an extensive research and visited multiple good examples in our neighboring countries.

Following these good practices, we started discussing all needs and wishes for the depot together with collaborators of the museum.

In two years, we managed to build and finish the complete depot. Below a detailed summary of all that’s realized in the depot.

  • HVAC-installation: better than an AA+ climate. 20°C and 52% RH 24/7 without fluctuations
    • Very strict maintenance agreement in case of defects with immediate intervention
    • Daily monitoring of the climate
  • Acclimatized loading and unloading area, restauration ateliers and storage
  • Lock operation: no door or gate can be opened without all other being closed
  • Dust-free floors
  • Badge controls on all doors and gates
    • Possibility to monitor who opened which door
  • Maintenance of the complete depot
  • Office areas
  • Water mist installation for fire safety
  • INCERT-3 security level
    • Anonymous building
    • Control of perimeter
    • Independent emergency room
  • CCTV camera monitoring


Ecological storage

After being operational for +/- 8 years, we noticed a change in the mindset of our clients trending towards a heightened ecological & economical thinking. Katoen Natie doesn’t flinch when it sees the opportunity to improve, so we decided to develop a new type of depot. Together with engineering, we mapped the needs for the new building and started a study together with some expert consultancy agencies to develop a new storage.

The result is a complete new design of storage. Below an overview:


We have build a depot that’s self-regulating through building-specific features, like extreme isolation. We talk about a steel outershell and an innershell made out of concrete, a building inside a building. The combination of the used materials in the building versus the climate in the region realize an ASHRAE A1 climate towards a fixed set point with minimal support of mechanical installations.

Fire safety

We attain the best fire protection by lowering the oxygen concentration in the depot below the ignition point. Preventing fire is better than an active firefighting system, which uses water or dangerous gases. The oxygen level is at 14%.

Break-in security

The depot is located on an anonymous location. On the outside, there are no signs that can insinuate that we store valuable objects inside the building. On site, we have 24H/24H terminal monitoring and a maximum physical security of the perimeter. Finally yet importantly, the complete depot is INCERT3 certified (badge and CCTV controlled). The building itself is a building inside a building, which makes ramming nearly impossible.