Illuminations: Conversations at Huis Perrekes
Installation, Dag van de Architectuur 2021, Oosterlo, Belgium

Between dereliction and reinhabitation, the disused parsonage of Oosterlo is in a state of transition. We revive it not only for the Dag van de Architectuur (Day of Architecture), but as an additional layer that will remain in the building while it awaits renovation as a new amenity for Huis Perrekes, a local care organisation offering support and residence for people suffering from dementia. The installation looks to imprint the memories and rituals of Huis Perrekes onto the material reality of the parsonage. 

At Huis Perrekes, living itself is treated as a form of art; an ongoing experiment of highly thoughtful and empathetic work developed by carers, musicians, artists, architects, residents’ families and volunteers. In order to produce this installation, we spent time at the Villa of Huis Perrekes observing, drawing and photographing. From these observations, we curated a series of conversations with residents and carers during a short but intensive series of visits. Our aim was to illuminate the stories behind certain objects and daily rituals that held a deeper meaning.

This interest in the dialogue between the material and the immaterial led us to working with light as the primary transformative element in the space. Excerpts of conversations are illuminated on the windows of the three rooms of the installation, transforming with the natural light and atmospheric conditions outside the house.

Outside, a slender ribbon of chalk text wraps around the building’s exterior with the message ‘you are beautiful, here is beautiful’. These warm words, borrowed from a resident of the Villa, act as a rhythmic mantra to hold the building, a gesture towards its future intention.

Scenography, research, graphic design