Aue Pavilions in Karlsaue, 1992, Robbrecht & Daem, image: documenta.de
While poking around documenta 9 (1992), the year Cady Noland and Bob Nickas did their amazing thing in the new parking garage, I found these nice pavilions in the Karlsaue. Documenta director Jan Hoet commissioned five temporary exhibition pavilions from Ghent-based architects Paul Robbrecht and Kristien Daem.
Aue Pavilions interior, 1992 Kassel, image: Kristien Daem
The corrugated steel shells read a bit like train cars, but with an entire wall of glass, which made them perfect, someone figured, for showing painting. Which, Isa Genzken actually showed a resin sculpture. Gerhard Richter enclosed his gallery in walnut paneling. Adapted from simple, prefab industrial structures and raised on wooden pylons, were built to last the summer. They’re still with us.
images: google streetview from 2009
After documenta wrapped, the pavilions found their way to Almere, a planned Dutch city east of Amsterdam built on reclaimed land.
For nearly twenty years, they housed an arts center, and eventually a municipal museum called–De Paviljoens.
The architects compared it favorably to a caravan (trailer) park. It was the kind of place where kids could hang out underneath, no problem. It even looks to have inspired the modular manufactured insta-architecture of the school across the street. [Speaking of streets, I thought the museum being located on the corner of Odeonstraat and Slapstickpad was a fluke, but surfing around Google, Almere has the greatest street names in the world. The next neighborhood over is Comedy Caperstraat, which intersects streets named for Abbott, Costello, Laurel, Hardy, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin. There’s even a David Nivenweg. Another neighborhood’s named after directors, including Fassbinder, Tati, and Pasolini.]
Not sure what happened here, though. Looks pretty edgy!
The artist-themed neighborhoods include a Marcel Duchampstraat, but now the city has no museum. Dutch culture budget cuts hit The Pavilions hard, and though its website lives on, the museum closed for good in 2010. Developers [bought? got?] them, and In 2012, plans were announced to move the pavilions to the center of Nieuwe Stad (New City), an adapted reuse development of a former industrial site in Amersfoort, a city between Almere and Utrecht.
That finally happened, and just this summer, the pavilions hosted some big festival. Nieuwe Stad’s slogan, DOE MEE IN DE PAVILJOENS! sounds hilariously worse in English.
Aue Pavilions, Kassel, Almere, Amersfoort, 1992- [robbrechtendaem]
documenta 9 archive [documenta.de]
De Paviljoens [depaviljoens.nl]
Doe Mee In De Paviljoens! [denieuwestad.nl]