The Genieloods is a former military barrack that will be transformed into a centre for contemporary art. The location is on the premises of the fortress and art centre Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen in The Netherlands,which has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fortress was part of the defence line of Amsterdam, a complex of fortresses, dikes, locks and other structures spread in a large circle around the capital.
The Genieloods dates from 1896. The steel frame of the barrack is clad with one single layer of corrugated iron sheets. This results in an unsustainable use and an indoor climate that is unsuitable for expositions: in the summer it is extremely hot and in the winter very cold.
Due to the fact that any alteration to a building with monumental status has to be reversible, we propose to clad the interior of the barrack with curtains made of lightweight space blankets, thus developing a sustainable and controllable climate. The reflectiveness of this NASA-developed material keeps the heat out in summer and retains the warmth produced by the floor heating in the winter. During the in-between seasons, when the indoor climate is comfortable, the curtains can be mechanically rolled-up, revealing the original interior of the barrack again.
The mirroring qualities of the material transform the narrow barrack into an optically infinite space, making the art visible from the front, back and top. Natural light is reflected in countless ways, creating ideal lighting conditions to exhibit art.The new exhibition space will be in sharp contrast with the dark exhibition spaces in the bunkers of the fortress itself.
Location: Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands Client: Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen Program: Art gallery Area: 320 m2 Status: Competition entry 2010, 1st prize Project Team: Paulien Bremmer, Joost Huyzer, Stephanie Willockxs, Jarrik Ouburg (OJO), Gerald Lindner (CC-Studio) Consultants: Henk Schellen, Technical University Eindhoven (department building physics), DGMR (building physics + fire safety), Peter Dekker Installaties (screen systems)