The Compact Cube
Veendam, The Netherlands
The Compact Cube is a ‘multifunctional space that instigates alternative use’. The idea to create a cubical shed as a low budget space for pioneers has been developed in the Veenkolonieën (an upland moor and former peat briquette production area in the south east of the province of Groningen in the Netherlands). Besides for storage of materials the cube can also be used as a working and residential space. It comes in different types: from a fully equipped customized workshop to a mere casco cube or cubical shell, stripped clean and adaptable to each pioneer’s own personal taste. The cube – measuring 6x6x6m – is derived from the Oldamster boerderij (a local type of farmhouse), resembling the extension with the same measurements, on the front side of this type of farmhouse. Together with a matching roof it really shares a striking similarity to the front view of an Oldamster boerderij. It also offers pioneers the opportunity for do-it-yourself construction and gives first time home buyers a chance to build an undetached house for only € 50.000. The sustainable character of this compact, custom made – even during the building process! – cubical shed is accomplished by using wood as building material. There’s also the possibility (depending on the site) of constructing the foundation out of railway sleepers or reusing old building materials, from old sheds and stills to modified timber. Prefabricated construction, a local building contractor, an apprentice’s workshop or private initiative: the local circumstances determine the ideal and required building process for a cubical shed. The first one has been constructed in the city of Veendam, as a municipal pilot project for artists. A local contractor from the small town of Kielwindeweer has built it together with students of an apprentice’s workshop.