Lookout with Wind Turbine

site specific intervention, collaboration with Marjetica Potrc, 2008


From 2004 - 2008 we initiated Disclosures, a series of exhibitions in our social housing apartment. These exhibitions were organised under the umbrella of VRIZA, an abbreviation for friday, saturday (in Dutch vrijdag, zaterdag). We invited

Marjetica Potrc to participate. She proposed to create an extension to the apartment, in the form of a staircase along the house front that leads to a crow’s nest floating just above the roof. A wind turbine on the observation platform provides electricity for the apartment.

Over a period of four years we navigated 'Lookout with Wind Turbine' through the dense fabric of regulation and public financing in the Netherlands. This formal trajectory turned the Lookout into a collaborative project. As a public extension hanging on the edge of private and public space, this navigating required a shuttling back and forth between different realms. Sometimes the structure had to be presented as ‘public sculpture’; other times it had to be redefined as ‘architectonic intervention’. In stead of 6 to 8 weeks, it took 17 months to get the building license for 'Lookout with Wind Turbine', this time labeled as ‘temporary structure for sustainable energy’. The dossier got lost several times while in transit between the different communal departments, all not knowing how to define the ‘object’. To get the permit for temporary blocking the street for installment of the Lookout, it had to be recategorized once more, this time as ‘emergency staircase’. (Also see Written Material)

Supported by SKOR (Mariska vd Berg), AFK, and Fund BKVB. Initial architectural drawings were made by nova stran, Studio for Architecture, Ljubljana. Egon Kuchlein and DOK/Chris vd Berg assisted in construction and permissions. Home Energy provided the wind turbine.