Belgian architect-artist

Koen Deprez

1987

Beach Cabins for the Belgian Coast

Small wooden huts, all neatly lined up in rows along the Belgian coastline, provide temporary beachfront storage facilities for sun worshipers. As the symbols of tourism, these ennobled sheds symbolise carefree holidays and mass sunbathing. Yet, when Koen Deprez took a peek behind the wooden facades, he made some startling discoveries. One cabin was being used an ammunition depot, another as cubbyhole for prostitution, yet another as a sacred place for prayer, others accommodated an alcohol stash and a safety deposit box. Deprez's visits to the seaside led to the following realization: people always deviate from the architect's prescriptions when they appropriate space.
He therefore decided to design generic cabins that could be used in different and non-predictable ways. Placing the cabins within a tidal area meant that they could only be reached by walking or by swimming, depending on the time of the day. Instead of entering via a front door, the owners climbed down a ladder in the roof. Deprez only wanted to supply the beach-goer with a platform; it was of no concern to him how the cabins might actually be used.

Collage, 22 x 19 x 5 cm

Collage, 22 x 19 x 5 cm

Isometrie mixed technique, 72 x 52 x 5 cm

Isometrie mixed technique, 72 x 52 x 5 cm

Model/brass, 40 x 30 x 30 cm

Model/brass, 40 x 30 x 30 cm