House of Time

invited by Triennale Bruges



in cooperation with Bolwerk, brugge voor jongeren



Short docu



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Pictures by Raumlabor, Triennale Bruges, Tom Leentjes



Situated in an unlikely pocket along a canal in Bruges—one of the few remaining industrial sites in the historical port city—the project reprograms and reactivates this factory area into a sphere of collective imagination, action, and transformation. The project evolves slowly over time: developed in collaboration with local youth, the House of Time enables them to work together to find solutions to social and community problems through discussions, experiments, and the act of living together. The project is part of the Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City, for the duration of which the place is open to all.



House of Time

House of Time is conceived of as an open place, home to local youth but welcoming to everyone. The passionate involvement of local social partners, Bolwerk, and the Triennial team made the project possible. After a period of common exploration of how the House might operate, the place now unfolds its own dynamics. The art collective Kunstenal act as hosts during the weekends. The House of Time is a process planned to last three years; a visit on any given day will reveal a snapshot of it in a moment in time. Having started long before the festival, it will continue to operate into the future. House of Time explores the question: “what, for whom, and with whom” can this island of beauty, calmness, and otherness be in the city of Bruges.


Microfactory for the Production of Mobile Units for Immaterial Values

Bruges is a city that has gone through significant changes and fluctuations: from the richest city to the poorest, to the most touristic; from being decorated to being almost abandoned; the Belgian mecca for medieval charm, topped with chocolate and beer. With its history, Bruges seems the perfect city to think about reinventing ourselves within a post-industrial society transitioning into a digital one. This moment of transformation creates many uncertainties and we hope the House of Time will serve as a space for reflections and re-positionings in navigating these large questions. In the House of Time, we embrace permanent negotiations, flexibility as liberation, independence, freedom, self-organization, sharing, exchanging. These subjects are not fixed constructs but fluid identities in permanent evolution.

A Project by and for the Youth

In our meetings with local partners, we understood that there are many people and places in the city who take care of youngsters’ needs, support them, and offer space to meet and spend time away from home. We see the House of Time as a new player in the youngsters’ city map and we work together in equipping it with qualities that support the valuable social work that is done throughout the city.


Structures of the Now

How can we co-create moments, objects, and spaces, that enhance a feeling of the present? How can the perceived intensity of ‘the now’ be augmented? Our installations explore these questions, helping us experience and transcend into other states of mind where time and space interact in a new, exciting way. Following are some examples.



The House of Time features a hot bath, including a changing room and outdoor shower.




©Tom Leentjes

©Tom Leentjes


Tree House

The tree house materialized from the youngsters’ wishes—we developed it in a dialogue exchange of drawings, model making and conversations. Now it’s there as a place to retreat and find calm moments together.



©Tom Leentjes

©Tom Leentjes


Water Tank – The Sun

Among the many unrealized conceptions was the transformation of an existing water tank on site into a diving tower. Climbing into the enormous ‘sun’ perched atop the giant gray cylinder, one would enjoy a moment of solitude overlooking the world below, before descending into a nightly pool to emerge a newborn.



Water Tank – Change Your Life Now

Inside a hollow steel cylinder, once storage for the factory’s sprinkler system, is an otherworldly atmosphere of reflection and contemplation. A circular bench invites you to sit down and watch the words “change your life now” pierce through the dusty air and float across the tank’s curved walls with the sun’s movement.




Work in Progress – Mobile Units for Immaterial Values

The theme of the upcoming summer workshop is Mobile Units for Immaterial Values. Through the construction of a series of small, self-contained objects we will investigate the translation and distillation of these subjectivities into their opposite—the object. These objects are places for the ongoing construction of the self. They are places for exchanging, debating, finding, and losing; places full of errors and mistakes: places full of life.