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John Körmeling

John Körmeling (b. 26 June 1951) studied architecture in Eindhoven, where he lives and works. He has extensive experience with large-scale projects, having created many commissioned public artworks and he has participated in numerous exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad. Körmeling has designed the interior of the entrance hall of Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, including the lighting.

You can follow the entire fabrication process and the installation of the structure in the depot in the extensive video portrait we made of John Körmeling. We visit him in his studio in Eindhoven, explore the sketch model with him, visit the BlonkStaal steel foundry, see the balcony installed in the depot and, last but not least, find out what colour the floor will be. The entire project has also been documented in beautiful photographs by Aad Hoogendoorn.

Free-standing balcony

Körmeling has designed the interior of the entrance hall, including the lighting. He has replaced the masonry wall between the entrance hall and the main storage space with a glass wall, thus providing a view of the circular space and the activities within. He has designed a free-standing balcony in the entrance hall that follows the curve of the building. Bright pink lockers and vending machines are located on and beneath the balcony. The beauty of the design is that it allows visitors to focus on what is happening in the circular storage space. The balcony structure was made by BlonkStaal in Schoonhoven.

 

Sketch model

‘The building looks very simple from the outside, but it is a circular double-curved building with an orthogonal layout that connects to the curvature. I found it difficult to imagine the building’s interior from the construction drawings, so I made a sketch model to gain an insight into how the building works spatially. The advantage of a sketch model is that you can see the spaces in relation to each other. You can adapt the model to altered conditions and rules and you still have a global view. I changed the model at least ten times: connecting the mezzanine to the lift, the location of the stairs, a sliding door between the storage and the entrance.’

Happy Street

John Körmeling has extensive experience with large-scale projects, having created many commissioned public artworks and he has participated in numerous exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad. Among his best-known works are Happy Street, the Dutch pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and Drive-in Wheel, part of Panorama 2000 in Utrecht. Happy Street was an open pavilion, comprising a red spiral ramp from which a variety of buildings were suspended. Drive-in Wheel allowed visitors to drive their own cars onto a Ferris wheel, which offered spectacular views of the city. How open-minded can you be? He has created several public artworks in Rotterdam: 1989 on the roof of the Hillekop apartment building by Mecanoo architects, and the Pioneer’s House on the roof of the Customs building by Benthem Crouwel in the Waalhaven district.