Construction year: 2013
Design: H&H architects in collaboration with Comp.Marius
Men at work: Comp.Marius, Van Doorn container depot, Fen Van Trier
Finance: Comp.Marius, Antwerp city council
In residence at: Middelheim Museum
By building a container construction to accommodate an office and workspace, the aim is to extend Comp.Marius’ mobile open-air work, which is part of our artistic identity, into the whole of our work and to open it up to the public.
The construction consists of three converted containers: one large 12m container on top of two smaller 6m containers. One of the two smaller ones is to serve as a reading and translating room and the other is for day-to-day storage. The larger container on top houses the office. The construction also includes a small semicircular wooden seating arrangement set up so that visitors can sit on it with a view of the whole construction. More explanation is provided on an orientation table. The same seating is also used for small-scale performances, talks, Comp.Marius’ open-air ‘reading room’, and so on.
The plan is that Comp.Marius will look for a series of temporary hosts for its mobile workplace for periods of between 3 months and 3 years. Our first host will be the Middelheim Museum. By opting for a public space and an open-air museum we hope to emphasize the added artistic value of our mobile workplace and also offer its visitors something extra. In this respect, Comp.Marius has a reputation to uphold: the reception of and relationship with the public is one of the features for which we are appreciated even outside Belgium.
We see this container construction as an initial stage. The stock of sets and costumes will for the time being remain housed in four other, unconverted containers which we keep elsewhere together with the lorry.
The Antwerp city council is making a substantial financial contribution to the realization of this project. Minimal financial input from the company is only necessary for the first five years. After that no more rent will have to be paid. This also makes the container construction a choice that cuts energy costs and other expenditure.