Atelier Van Lieshout (Netherlands)

Ravenstein, 1963 (Joep van Lieshout)

AVL Franchise Unit

A multifunctional construct as the core of a new, free state.

The Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout founded AVL (Atelier Van Lieshout) in 1995. AVL is a Rotterdam-based artists’ group that works as a collective and signs its creations accordingly. Most of AVL’s work, though not all of it, is utilitarian and solidly and simply made.

The works include polyester furniture, bathrooms and mobile living units to complete architectural constructions. One much-used application, which has become a signature of AVL, consists of fibreglass reinforced constructions, usually in bright, striking colours like yellow, orange and red.

The most famous examples of their work are large, mobile homes. The AVL Franchise Unit was specially made for Middelheim. It is a multifunctional building fitted with a large kitchen, bathroom, electricity, heating and a water purification system. The possibilities are far from exhausted: ideally it could serve as the core of a new, free state with individual houses built around it, the inhabitants of which could use this communal facility. A sense of a commune is never far away in this work.

Joep van Lieshout and his collective are full-blooded sculptors, but they are also engaged and sometimes provocative, installation and situation artists. Projects including a mobile soup kitchen, a contemporary concentration camp and an entire artists’ village in a dock area have brought them huge success, both at home and abroad.


Number 37 on the map


  • AVL Franchise Unit
  • 2002
  • h 370 cm x w 6174 cm x d 1200 cm
  • Mixed media
  • MIDW501