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Verbandkammer: The compact modular office you can sleep in


September 12, 2012

The Verbandkammer modular workspace by Nilsson Pflugfelder

The Verbandkammer modular workspace by Nilsson Pflugfelder

Image Gallery (17 images)

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.

It's black.

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.

Source: Nilsson Pflugfelder, via Design Milk

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

I am not sure what purpose (other than looking cool) the chamfered corners serve. They decrease the interior volume/storage and increase the complexity radically, without any advantage I can see.

Michael Crumpton

That's as useful a space as the inside of a giant slinky tied to a knot. It's also wasting both internal and external space with the slanted surfaces, and looking at the ergonomics, the "computer space" with stairs as seating... Ouch. I'd much rather take a small office with a sofa..

Jarmo Nieminen

It combines the worst features of first and third world housing.

Jon A.

Wow, the slavists came together with Palpatine's architects to create this awesome death trap! Amazingly dull and mindless!

Alfredo Balmaseda

Is it April 1st?

I like the guy sitting on the step trying to use the computer, very ergonomic! (not)


A) it looks uncomfortable to do any kind of art work in. and B) for such a small space i feel like i would get lost in it. o.O

Olivia Trojak

I read the articles and I seldom comment but this I feel I need to say something....a) if you use this in a space big enough so that you can "move and reconfigure" it then you have enough space already.


"a compact modular office you can sleep in" ??? This is nothing new! I sleep in my itty-bitty cube at work every day! (and the boss keeps pushing my desk further back, and threatening to take away my red stapler!)


oops, did I say "sleep"? I meant "meditate"! :-)


Definitely not something I would want to work or sleep in. Did you see those wingnuts near the bed? Wouldn't that be fun to tear your cheek open on?

Tim Nelson

A design only the Borg could love...

Jon Smith
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