PALOMAR 5 CAMP BY ZWEIDREI AND 45 KILO
Palomar5 was established as a non-profit initiative seeking innovation outside of corporate structures. They organized a six-week workshop in order to bring together young and motivated people from all over the world. This event took place in an old and empty factory building, called Malzfabrik in the south of Berlin.
Within three months we designed a temporary architecture on about 2.000 sqm. The aim of the design was to offer a high grade of functionality at low costs and still to create an emotional atmosphere throughout the building. About forty people should sleep, work, cook and relax in the architecture we designed.
The project is divided into three main parts: a small village with 40 little houses, a big installation that structures the working space and another installation in the chillout area. For reasons of simplicity and coherence the white cube became the theme of the design in all areas. In addition to that we designed a big working desk with drawers made from standard containers for the kitchen and a simple detachable and stackable table for various purposes.
The abbey Sainte-Marie-de-La-Tourette in Éveux, Lyon by Le Corbusier was the inspiration for the sleeping box. Le Corbusier designed a minimal cabin for the monks that gave them privacy in a small room in contrast to the wide open spaces for the group. In the same manner the sleeping box is reduced to a bed, wardrobe, ceiling window, night table and two lamps. Just like the monks cabinet, it is possible to open it completely, just to have the textile blind or to close it completely with the doors. This way the inhabitant has the possibility to choose different degrees in how private he or she wants to live. Although everybody has the same box, the placement of the boxes in the big hall of the upper floor generates a typical village situation with streets, lively squares and calmer areas.
The work in the future is the overall theme of the Palomar 5 group. Creative group work from 3 – 5 persons within a bigger group of 40 persons requires tables, chairs and space that can be easily modified. The main function of the surrounding installation is to provide an inspiring and dense atmosphere.
The big deconstructed white cube separates the 300 sqm hall into several areas that are working spaces for different groups within the Palomar 5 team. More important than this functional character, the installation establishes an image that becomes part of the identity of the team. The form derives from a big white cube that has been cut in three equally sized parts, that have been torn into the space.
The white cube in the context of art draws all attention onto the art exhibited. It is the empty space that carries no information, blank paper, a medium in its most minimalistic form. In our idea the deconstruction of this form should generate new forms of thinking about the mediums we work with in everyday life. Destruction of forms as we know and anticipate them is the pre-condition for everything that is new. That’s what the participants of Palomar 5 strive for and that is why we generated a form that expresses the same thoughts.
Contrary to the concept of the white cube, the Re-creational area, as the word expresses, is a composed installation that brings together things (little white cubes) and people (represented by 40 white cubes). Similar to the working area, the installation generates a certain flow in the hall, but it does not divide the existing architecture into smaller parts. Symbolically it is an image for the temporary happening, the gathering that is taking place at the moment. The basic functions are the acoustic improvement, it can be used for projections and messages and it offers areas for sports, games and gambling.
A simple kitchen already existed in the factory but we thought that collective cooking might add some quality for this big flat share. At low costs we realized a ready made kitchen table were up to 8 people can prepare food. The containers are drawers and at the same time they can be used for shopping.
As the project needed about 22 tables that could easily be transported, stacked and assembled for all kinds of purposes, we developed a very simple and cheap table. It consists of a plain and stackable frame and a HPL–desktop that is attached to the base with Velcro. Spending money and resources for a temporary project leads to the problem of efficiency and ecological use of material. The installations in the three big areas sleeping, working and recreation were designed with the aim to use recycled material wherever possible and to keep the constructions lightweight.
We wanted to reuse most of the materials especially the wood. For most of the constructions we used thin MDF-plates which is a material that is made from recycled wood waste produced by mills and manufacturing plants. MDF itself is very difficult to reuse several times and mostly meant for one-time constructions. Since we didn’t use any glue or composite parts, we were able to disassemble the boxes and the white cube till the last screw.
The wood was then recycled to feed an eco friendly biomass heating system of our carpenter. The recreational area was 95% made out of cardboard and 5% wooden slats, therefore it could be completely recycled as well. The furniture we designed is now being used in the Palomar 5 office.
Photo: Rosa Merk, http://rosamerk.com/