Designed by architecture and design practice Nilsson Pflugfelder, Verbandkammer is conceived as an all-in-one living and working space aimed at visual artists, cramming an impressive number of building functions through its 40 modules, including work desks, meeting areas, archive shelving and sleeping quarters, into a compact, efficient (if perhaps a little cramped) space. And, as you'd probably expect these days, the 40 modules can be rearranged so that the Verbandkammer can be reconfigured at will.
Custom built at the request of the FLACC workplace for visual artists in Genk, Belgium, Verbandkammer has been constructed using 11 types of frame with 10 different cladding materials. Its makers claim it incorporates six separate "programmatic entities," which we interpret to mean building functions.
Other than the bias towards Mac computers in the shots, there's no reason why non-visual artists wouldn't benefit from a Verbandkammer, too. After all, we all like cocoons, don't we?
Here's the bulk of the architects' description, with a few explanatory notes thrown in from us in case they're useful:
The Verbandkammer is a form of institutional memory—a sedimentation and fossilisation of information.
It has shelves.
As a cross-section through the institutional shifts, it gauges where FLACC has been in the past, where it is situated at the present, and acts as a firm foundation from where the institution can project towards the future.
We suggest you put things on the shelves in date order.
It is a framework for mining and reusing existing information previously produced at FLACC – a tangible feedback loop obsessed with keeping past information in the productive present.
Feel free to take things off the shelves. (But please put them back).
In its second guise post-Manifesta 9, the Verbandkammer will move from the ground floor gallery to FLACC’s spaces on the first floor where the various elements will be reconfigured to enable and guide future thinking and production at the institution.
We didn't make a note of how we put this thing together, so when we put it back together upstairs, it's going to look different.
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. Unlike the finite and irreversible process of coal mining, the mining of the Verbandkammer is a sustainable act in that it is concerned both with retrieval and production of matter.
Verbandkammer will be on display at FLACC till September 30, after which time they're going to shift it upstairs for the artists to play with.