A Re-Adapted "Local": Garbage Skips Transformed into Storytelling Bar & Café (Video)

© Foundation Projects

It's not often you see a neat example of ad-hoc, improvised design taken to the communal level. Dutch designers Rikkert Paauw and Jet van Zwieten of Foundation Projects took discarded garbage skips, collected various bric-à-brac from neighbourhood residents' attics and alleys and transformed all this into a local bar and café, a place for conversation, music and events.

© Foundation Projects
© Foundation Projects

According to Dezeen, their "Straatlokaal" (translated as "local room" as per one of our hawk-eyed readers) project was first done as part of Vienna Design Week 2010, repeating the process for Milan's 2011 Public Design Festival, with each result completely different and dependent on the site and gathered materials.

In April 2012, the two undertook the same process again in their hometown of Utrecht, with three skips that collected discarded furniture and building materials from three different locations:

In three Utrecht districts a container is filled with materials to be found in the area. In no more than a week, a small house will be constructed using those materials. All three structures will subsequently be relocated to centre square the Neude where, together, they will form a pavilion with a bar and events.

© Foundation Projects

During the construction process, local residents were encourage to not only donate materials, but to also help out with building. The temporary pavilion they created would now be host to a "simple daily program of events including music, breakfast debates and speakers from the different districts."

© Foundation Projects
© Foundation Projects

But it's not just ad-hoc urban design from a community-level standpoint, there's also a story to be told, using videomapping, a hot trend in cutting-edge multimedia where any 3D surface is transformed into a dynamic video display using computers running certain software and specially-calibrated projectors:

By means of videomapping, the story behind several materials will be projected onto those materials. Think of, for example, a picture of a resident, images of a messy attic, a renovation or of vacant land. Music and soundscapes (by Sonostruct~ and Jacob van de Water) made using the audio tapings will be played in the pavilion. In this way, visitors will get a multi-layered look into the three different Utrecht areas.

© Foundation Projects
© Foundation Projects

This is a fascinating way to bring whole neighbourhoods into a project that is meant to improvise, yet also coalesce the invisible connections between individuals living in the same area -- a poignant stand-in for lost traditions and ways of collective being. In our globalized era, we may be losing our grip on "local," but it doesn't mean that it can't be resurrected in other incarnations. Say the designers:

People from all walks of life will find their way to the project. People that hang out on the streets, but also architects, residents that come to donate materials and people interested in design. One of Foundation’s main goals is to bring people together and inspire dialogue between persons from different backgrounds. Until now, that is exactly what has happened at all previous projects and that is why we will just carry on.

© Foundation Projects

More over at Foundation Projects.

Tags: Communities | Recycled Building Materials | Urban Life | video