In AVL-Ville Greenhouse, vegetable and herbs are cultivated according to organic principles and without artificial heating. The greenhouse was not made by AVL, but it fully complies with the atelier’s style: the inexpensive structure can be easily transported from one location to another.
Mix and match: the longer side of Floating Sculpture is based on the old-fashioned architecture of a Zaans huisje (houses that are build in the Zaanstreek in the northern part of Holland). The attached blue bulb with windows (transparent eyes) has a large round bed inside.
Collection city of Amsterdam
Designed in 2000, the house measures only 2.10 x 2.90 m. This dwelling was inspired by the cottages that once stood around the Zuider Zee/IJsselmeer until the 1950s and served as weekday shelters for the local fishermen. Although the shape of the house is traditional and small, the house provides for a pleasant stay. Like many AVL works, this dwelling is an attempt to combine simple solutions from the past with modern applications and materials.
Several units with the Pioneer Set, AVL created a prefabricated farm and equipment, which handily fits into one 40-foot shipping container. Individuals and groups can travel around the world, set up the farm at any location and live self-sufficiently. The set consists of a farmhouse, a stable, a rabbit hutch, a chicken coop, a pig pen, several tools, equipment and fencing. Pioneer Set is a sturdy construction which has been built to function indefinitely, without any need for repairs and extensions. The only things that have to be added and replaced are the farm animals. AVL’s goal was to make a farm set for survival – not to create a farm driven by profit or in competition with other farms. Pioneer Set is a fully functional farm that appeals to the imagination in its concreteness. The set fulfils a nostalgic, utopian and even romantic idea of living: longing to go back to nature, to be independent or even not to be a part of this world.
Alfa Alfa with Chicken Run
Alfa Alfa began its life as an Alfa Romeo 164. The car had put in a considerable amount of time as an AVL company car before its engine was taken out to serve as a generator. The body was lovingly restored in 1999 and converted into a chicken coop. To transform the car into a coop, AVL undertook a thorough study of chickens: habits, health, habitat and psychological behaviour. The results of the study were integrated into the final design; proper adaptations were made. The chickens have a run and feeder outside the car; their nest is located in the trunk; which can be opened to collect the eggs with ease. Human conveniences are happily united with chicken welfare in the Alfa Alfa.
This kitchen and dining area for 16 people was originally made for an exhibition in Bourneville, UK. Bourneville is a village built in the early twentieth century by the Cadbury chocolate company for its factory employees. The purpose of the company’s founders was to provide good homes with large gardens: spacious, dry and light. Common facilities were also made, such as the men’s recreation grounds, whose austere athletic fields are marked by the occasional dressing room. By contrast, the women’s recreation grounds consisted of an idyllic park with brooks and hills, which was hermetically sealed off from the men and only accessible through a guarded tunnel. Bourneville remains an idyllic place, and the ban on alcohol is still in effect.
For Schiphol Airport, AVL designed two cabins for the waiting room for people to relax, sit down, hang out or just sleep in. Although the cabins were installed, they were never allowed to be used, since the structures were deemed both unsafe and capable of promoting undesirable behaviour.
Workshop for Weapons & Bombs
Before becoming a Free State, AVL wanted to make sure that the atelier was well-armed. Workshop for Weapons & Bombs was the unique result. Designed in 1998, the workshop was built from a shipping container and expanded with a fibreglass structure that ends in a sphere. This spherical space is the bedroom for the freedom fighter; the middle passage features an office space for writing manifestos; and the container holds a metal workshop and chemical laboratory where weapons and bombs can be made from simple household chemicals. The homemade weapons and bombs can be used for defence as well as attacks.
Workshop for Alcohol and Medicines
Workshop for Alcohol and Medicines was created in 1998 shortly after the Workshop for Weapons & Bombs. This container can produce alcohol from sugar, fruit or cereals and juices, which are then distilled. The pure alcohol that results can be mixed with medicinal herbs, spices and other natural ingredients to produce friendly drugs and sedatives. The workshop confounds the distinction between right and wrong since the same alcohol can be used for illegal distillation or to produce medicines for treating physical and mental ailments.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis commissioned AVL to make a mobile art lab: a youth centre on wheels that could bring the good word of art and culture to schools and people from poorer neighbourhoods throughout the state of Minnesota. AVL took on the task, with one condition: to add a darker side to the museum’s good intentions. The result was The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, a triptych structure composed of a trailer, a house and an extension. The good things are concentrated in the trailer, with its children-friendly activity areas for making art, music and theatre on the road. After touring the state, the trailer can come back to the museum’s Sculpture Park where it has a permanent place, docked into the Black House. Bad things live in the house; its imaginary ideal dweller is the Una Bomber, a prototype terrorist who survived alone in the forest and recycled materials to manufacture his bombs. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis USA
Tampa Skull is a claustrophobic living unit. Its dimensions were determined by the absolute minimum amount of space that a human body needs in order to move from one section to another and use its facilities: a toilet, a bathroom, a kitchen with a deep frying pan, an office, a living room and a bedroom. Compact yet complete.
Collection Les Abattoirs, Toulouse
Toilet Units Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Despite its adversity to museum architecture, AVL took on the challenge of building an extension for sanitary spaces at Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Located in the glassed-in passage that links the main building to the museum restaurant, AVL’s toilet unit takes the shape of a large penis, which appears to penetrate the glass passage. The penis head, which provides an entrance to the restaurant pavilion from the museum garden is on one side of the passage; on the other are the two testicles, one for the women’s room and one for the men’s. While the interior is a light shade of green, the exterior has been covered in an army-like camouflage print, which blends into the surrounding museum and gardens. Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
The Dutch like caravans. This one was made for a nice man called Adri who wanted to have a studio next to his house but was unable to get a building permit for an extension. That’s why he came to AVL. The atelier’s solution was to produce the largest possible mobile home, one measuring 3.5 x 13 m, which Adri parked in his garden. A few weeks later, the police and the mayor came by to complain, insisting that the caravan was illegal. But Adri simply pointed his finger to his neighbours who all had caravans and mobile homes parked in their gardens. Adri got to keep his studio caravan, although it is three times bigger than the neighbours’ caravans. Collection Adri Huisman, Maasdijk
Autocrat is a survival car for living in remote places – far away from civilized society without being deprived of its comforts. There’s a large kitchen and a sleeping area on the inside and another kitchen outside for heavier culinary work, like slaughtering animals. The car was designed and manufactured with the utmost autocracy in mind. Every effort was made to use homemade items and to avoid ready-made products. The hardware, water taps, the locks and the stove were all made from scratch. Autocrat plays a key role in AVL’s evolution, since the vehicle gave rise to the slaughter project. For this project, pigs were slaughtered on a farm according to traditional methods. All the parts were immediately used or preserved by drying, salting, smoking, pickling and other methods. The guide book A Manual (1997) shows more about the slaughter process, specifically how to kill a pig at home.
The director of the Centraal Museum wanted a small extension in which to work, sleep and relax. AVL’s solution was to devise a piece that is mounted with large bolts onto the museum’s outside wall. Since AVL tends to build without detailed drawings, the works evolve inside the studio and often change in unforeseeable ways during the construction process. In this case, AVL began with the three basic elements of the extension – a table, a bench and a bed – and then started building the space around them. The final piece on the outside of the museum was not designed; its appearance is the result of the coincidental form of the space needed inside the structure. In collaboration with Klaar van der Lippe Collection Centraal Museum, Utrecht
Modular House Mobile
An AVL classic, this mobile home consists of three major parts: a chassis, a functional unit, with all the facilities needed by the driver/user (kitchen, heating, sleeping areas), and a cargo space. The cargo section can also be cleared and used as an office or as a dining room, if extra guests arrive for a feast. The doors of the cargo section have been replaced by a toilet and shower unit with hot and cold running water. Mobility meets modularity.
Collection Prada Foundation, Milan
Mobile Home for Kröller-Müller
Mobile Home for Kröller-Müller is also fondly known as The Master and Slave Unit. The Master Unit forms the central block; the Slave Units can be clicked or screwed into any one of the five modular holes in the Master Unit. Each Slave Unit has a specific function – bedroom, sanitary space, kitchen, office – and can be easily moved from one hole to another in the Master Unit. With no fixed layout, no foundation, nor final form, The Master and Slave Unit breaks all the rules of traditional architecture. The absence of an overall design makes any rule infinitely expendable and flexible. Collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo
Costum made relaxation, enjoyment and sex, La Bais-ô-Drôme is equipped with a minibar, sound system and upholstered tables; the bed is situated in a slide-out section while the toilet is a simple hole in the floor.
Collection FRAC Rhône-Alpes, Lyon