BORGER – When asked to dream up a new way to signal the presence of a modest – and soberly-designed – fire station in Borger, the Netherlands, Dutch multidisciplinary artist Frank Havermans came up with this bright red, alienesque lantern embracing an explicit machine-aesthetic.
Appearing to have come straight out of an early 1990s West Coast architect’s sketchbook, the 5-m-high articulated metallic structure dominantly sits on a small, grassy hillock at the crossroads of the municipality's major highways and acts as a staring beacon watching over the villagers. Celebrating its mechanical legibility through obvious references to firefighting-related apparatus, KAPKAR / BB-N34’s prominent silhouette seems in fact to recall an aerial ladder topped with a firefighter’s helmet.
When describing his work, Frank Havermans states that, while being well aware of its context, it remains highly expressive regardless of its purpose. The flamboyant but evocative architectural installation stands by the artist’s words as it succeeds to provide a meaningful experience for people with direct connections to the local fire service and those who appreciate their efforts.