It may look like a bunker for doomsday believers, but Verbandkammer is actually a modular container for artists and hackers in Belgium. Commissioned by the FLACC Workplace for Visual Artists in Genk, the workspace cum artist's residence doubles as an archive of relevant information. Nilsson Pflugfelder constructed the hulking structure out of a patchwork of components that are easily disassembled and reassembled.
Currently situated on FLACC’s first floor gallery as part of the Manifest 9 Parallel Events in Genk, Verbandkammer hosts cultural production, work and residential space as well as archival facilities in one bulky structure, allowing artists or designers to produce and document creative projects without having to move!
Made of 11 different frames, 10 types of cladding and 40 separate modules, it is a patchwork mobile container that is easily re-configured. Which is exactly what will become of it when Manifesta 9 comes to a close: the Verbandkammer will be moved upstairs where it will be constantly re-worked by artists and “hackers” as part of a growing experiment in collaborative design and open-source production.
Pflugfelder likens the creation of an archival facility to coal mining. “The building of an archive and the formation of coal are deeply intertwined in that they are both bound up with geological processes of sedimentation, layering, compression and fossilisation creating dense stratifications of matter,” he wrote. Only Verbandkammer is infinitely more sustainable.
images via Kristof Vrancken