OPEN-AIR SCHOOLforest as building
In collaboration with Maatschap Observatorium
Foundation Artphy invited Observatorium and Hein van Duppen for an exhibition about landscape transformation due to climate change. We responded by laying the foundations of an open-air school in a tiny triangular forest on the river Westerwoldse Aa between Wedde and the Artphy exhibition spaces.
The slow transformation from forest to architecture is part of the preview exhibition of the art route Beek in Beeld in 2020, showing recent artworks and project plans from home and abroad artists: Tea Mikipaa, Carmela Bogman, Cathelijn van Goor, Danielle van Broekhoven, Esther Kokmeijer, Eylem Aladogan, Fabien Gruau, Giuseppe Licari, Jan Robert Leegte, Sander van der Bij, Trudy Oosterhuis and Observatorium.
The theme of this preview and the 2020 art route is: changing landscape, nature and agriculture in the light of climate change and rising sea levels, visibly happening around Artphy. Observatorium, always creating sculpture, installation or sites for observing, has starting pruning the forest to create an architecture showcasing and revealing the slow but certain landscape transformations. The location is in the landscape itself and will slowly take the shape of a building with roof, windows and doors; from forest to architecture - from architecture to forest. The school is gradually created by architectural pruning of undergrowth. One could call it hortitecture, a the term coined by Almut Grüntuch-Ernst at IDAS Institute for Design and Architectural Strategies in the book Hortitecture - The Power of Architecture and Plants. The living architecture is equipped with a view staircase, benches and camp beds. The architecture of the open-air school depends on the maintenance of the forest. The green walls of class-rooms and corridors will grow thicker over the course of the years. Extension or rebuilding is possible.
What new uses of agricultural landscape does climate change entail? The forest as a building has the function of an open-air school, a school for landscape observation and insights, a symbiosis of culture and nature and programmatic use. How can we transform the outdoors to an indoors without building?