Alien Palace Birdhouse Collection

Installation of birdhouses on lampposts
Cement fiber board, aluminium, brick, steel, wood
de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam
2010

Alien Palace Birdhouse Collection consists of birdhouses that are architecturally inspired by detention centres for immigrants in different European countries. The collection includes already birdhouses that resemble detention centres in the Netherlands, Finland and some Mediterranean countries.

Birdhouses are commonly placed in trees and posts to attract exotic and entertaining guests, to add to the plurality of the local bird fauna. Most often they are tiny little cottages made of warm and natural materials, like wood. There are also birdhouses that resemble luxurious mansions and castles with their extraordinary architectural detail.

Alien Palace birdhouses provide excellent nesting conditions for the occasional winged visitor. Instead of being little cottages or luxurious mansions, they lend their appearance from detention centres for immigrants. These are places where for example people without papers have to wait for their cases to be solved. They are practically prisons, although their residents haven’t necessarily committed a crime of any kind.

The harsh aesthetics that is characteristic for detention centres is reproduced in the level of shapes, materials and details. The birdhouses are made of weatherproof and durable materials such as cement fibreboard, aluminium, brick and stainless steel.