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AVL’s installation architecture

Operating from their warehouse headquarters in the harbour of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Joep van Lieshout and his team of co-workers brood on new ideas for more mind-blowing objects. Between art, design and architecture, Atelier van Lieshout sends installations into the world. Travelling around the globe, they conjure a smile on the face of people, everywhere they go.

These installations are the proof that architecture doesn’t always have to be taken too seriously. While their works often have a political or existential undertone, the main goal would be to offer some sort of entertainment. Always with a function, if not theoretical, the objects are meant to set up human interactions: sitting, sleeping, crawling in, over and out. ‘Art has to be integrated in our daily lives’, Joep van Lieshout says. By giving them simple attributes such as a pillow or a water tap, the objects get a meaning and thus a function. They are meant to be touched, played and experienced by people. Therefore colourful and durable fibreglass, that can be freely shaped into whatever form you like, serves as the perfect material.

Inspired by the human body as a fascinating system, many of the mini-worlds created by AVL are in the shape of some part of the body. These sometimes explicit human objects go against the flow and upset the street scenery. They attract people and try to break the daily routine. Bar Rectum or ‘Arsch Bar’, a bar in the shape of the human digestive system, can serve cool beverages on a hot summerday or act as a gathering spot on a festival for example.

Villa Sculptura, a house designed for a building property in Utrecht, is of a slightly bigger scale. Balancing between artwork and reality, investors can buy the building, which is not yet built, for the charming price of one million euro. Possible buyers can sign up on the website to talk about the design and make some changes were wanted. Selling a design without knowing the client in advance is an interesting tactic. If it will work? – that’s another question…

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Simon Claessens.
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