The Compartment

the compartment

A work by Lino Hellings and Yvonne Dröge Wendel commisioned by Skor and Zorginstelling Pieter van Foreest

Location: De Bieslandhof nursing home, Delft

>As of recently the residents of De Bieslandhof nursing home in Delft can step into a real train compartment that stands in the hallway of the newly built wing. Six comfortable seats are arranged as though in a train. The windows are video screens on which a Dutch polder landscape can be seen passing by. Travelling is a pleasant state of 'doing nothing'.

<In a train compartment one can withdraw into oneself and give oneself over to contemplation without being bored. The artists wanted to provide the (often psychogeriatric) residents of De Bieslandhof with this experience. Before coming up with a definitive concept for a work of art, Hellings and Dröge Wendel organised a number of workshops with the residents in order to establish a rapport with them. This brought them to a radically different insight than expected.


>From discussions and situations with the residents it emerged that what they actually wanted was peace and quiet and the right to do nothing. Initially the plan was to make a work of art that would incite them to activity, but the workshops revealed that the residents have much more need of a pleasant form of passivity.

  < De Compartment is an environment that speaks for itself and needs no interpretation. It conjures up a journey and gives the residents the idea that they've left the confined space of the nursing home for a while. They spend hours there and can have a cup of coffee or tea as well as receive a hot meal. Moreover, the work seems to have a therapeutic value since some of the more restless residents who used to constantly stand in front of closed doors because they wanted to escape from the nursing home, are now calmly enjoying a few hours in De Compartment.

> The design process has been documented from beginning to end by the artists and can be consulted on the website The work has been realised with technical execution by Rene Welker. The audio-visual part was carried out by Beamsystems.


Pictures: Gert Jan van Rooij

Location: De Bieslandhof, Beukenlaan 2, 2612 VC Delft

for info contact Christiane Bosman CB[at]