KAPKAR / 39-02 | Clamp Construction

An extrapolated and reinterpreted element based on the dimensions of the concrete structure

KAPKAR/TW-3902 is an installation in the Watertoren (water tower) in Vlissingen. I have known this water tower from an early age, for my grandfather was sub-contracted to build it. This made it even more interesting for me to carry out an intervention there.

On entering the tower, a dark brick structure on the outside, I was astonished by the daylight flooding in through the narrow, vertical slits. The robust concrete structure supporting the water tank at the top of the tower also surprised and intrigued me. 

year: 2002
location: Vlissingen, The Netherlands
dimension: 785 x 785 x 1180 cm
material: recycled construction plywood, square timber, threaded rods, nuts, steel cables, tensioners, screws
exhibtion: Decompressie (Decompression)
venue: De Watertoren Oost-Souburg
organization: Buro BK, Leon Riekwell
manufacture: Studio Frank Havermans
photography: © René de Wit, Breda

Decompression is a project by Frank Havermans and Karin van Pinxteren with Monique Camps, Frank Havermans, Frank Malcorps, Paul van Osch, Karin van Pinxteren.


I was struck by the fact that the tower’s verticality is far from evident in its interior, for it is divided into separate closed storeys. The only place where you can fully experience the tower’s height and verticality is on the grids of the hoisting hatches. Removing all the grids created a 2 x 1-m hole that is 25 m deep, from top to bottom – a new and interesting space in the water tower.

KAPKAR/TW-3902 is an extrapolated and reinterpreted element based on the dimensions of the concrete structure. It is in fact an evolution of the principle of KAPKAR/TC-23. It is an object that is literally clamped between the ceiling of the ground floor and the floor of the second storey, its dimensions deriving one to one from the existing concrete structure. I slid the elements across each other and suspended them with cables and tensioners in such a way that they did not touch each other (tensegrity).

The object simultaneously occupies its own space and creates a new space.


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