Project type

Design Show

Part of

Dutch Design Week

In 2016, instead of a static exhibition of new work, Atelier van Asseldonk presented a real spectacle during Dutch Design Week. Together with other local entrepreneurs, the atelier turned the Paterskerk in Eindhoven into a place where symbolism in the spirit of old masters reigned supreme and time-honored proverbs came to life. The title: the Allegory of the South. 

The arrangement of large architectural objects that fill the Allegory of the South refer to the concept of follies; the useless but sensual buildings that stimulated the experience of the 18th century English landscape garden. The repertoire of Dutch architect John Körmeling, packed with folly re- interpretations like Happy Street Shanghai, Rotating House and Observation Post, directly inspired us to design our own artefacts, combining bits and pieces taken from utilitarian architecture. 

His earlier projects Safe Storage and the pieces that were made for CHV Noordkade were obvious precursors to our Allegory of the South, which took our historical interest further back in time.

Photo by Gijs Spierings

During the Allegory of the South, the church benches in the iconic Eindhoven building made way for a twenty-meter dining table. 

Not just any dining table, but one with specially designed meter-high structures on and next to it, allowing visitors to imagine themselves in a painting by Jeroen Bosch or Pieter Bruegel. Not only the table and imposing towers were conceived and built especially for the Allegory, but also the crockery, all candlesticks, lanterns, rugs and other details.

To make this enormous experience a reality, Atelier van Asseldonk sought cooperation with other well-known entrepreneurs from the Eindhoven area. For example, Bruns from Bergeijk built the table and towers and Oogenlust from Eersel decorated everything with lush flowers and other greenery. 

And because you have to eat at a dining table, star chef Dick Middelweerd of restaurant 'De Treeswijkhoeve' cooked a special menu night after night for guests of the Allegory. With a beer from the Beerze brewery from Vessem. The Allegory of the South set a new standard for design events during Dutch Design Week.

The eye-catchers of the show were the meter-high towers, also known as follies. Tall buildings that were already built in times gone by from an aesthetic point of view. They did not necessarily have a function. 

With the table and the towers, the entire space that the church offered was used to the maximum.

Photo by Gijs Spierings

Star chef Dick Middelweerd of De Treeswijkhoeve prepared a specially composed menu for the Allegory of the South night after night.

Photo by Gijs Spierings

For the new Allegory we designed a new series of works and objects, based on ‘Dutch proverbs and sayings’ depicted by 16th century painter Pieter Breughel de Oude, who originated from the same area in Brabant; south of The Netherlands.

Photo by Gijs Spierings

Not only large towers were designed for the Allegory of the South, Atelier van Asseldonk once again showed a great eye for detail: candlesticks, vases, art objects, everything was drawn and made especially for the Allegory.