Draaiend Huis

A Revolving House...

If you enter Tilburg from the north, you will come across the Hasseltrotonde. This roundabout is one of the most important gateways to the city.

So it’s not surprising that in the 1980s the municipality designated this very spot as the location for a large-scale and unusual work of art such as John Körmeling’s Revolving House.

“Draaiend Huis” is a monumental, humorous, and daring entrance to Tilburg. It creates associations with the fairground, the traffic and it symbolically restores the ribbon construction that is so characteristic of Tilburg. The house, built at full size as a sunken house from the 60s and 70s, is not habitable and seems lifelike. John Körmeling wants to give the waiting motorists at the roundabout an alienation from reality. Normally it is the motorist who moves around and the buildings standstill. The alienating effect only occurs after some time, because the work of art spins once in 20 hours.

B&B-Tilburg John Körmeling geeft uitleg bij Den Ophef

John Körmeling

In 1999 the artist and architect was commissioned by the municipality of Tilburg to design a work of art for the Hasseltrotonde. His first design for Draaiende Huis was rejected because it would be unsafe for traffic, his second design was approved in 2003, but led to fierce discussions between supporters and opponents. These discussions continue to this day. John Körmeling received two prestigious design awards in Japan. In addition, he designed an entrance for Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam) and for the Museum Middelheim (Antwerp) and an entrance to the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.

B&B-Tilburg Draaiend Huis John Körmeling

World exhibition

For the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai with the theme ‘Better City, Better Life’ John Körmeling designed a complete street: Happy Street. In this street Körmeling elaborated his vision of an ideal city that organically emerges along a trade route; an area in which all facets of life can be seen side by side. Happy Street is a street in the form of the number eight, the Chinese lucky number. Along Happy Street there are twenty-eight houses in different architectural styles that together represent the Dutch architectural tradition.

One 100 outdoor works of art

This so-called revolving house, “Het Draaiend Huis” is recently named as one of the most iconny contemporary artworks in public space in the Netherlands. The Revolving House of John Körmeling is included in the list of one hundred important works of art in public space in the Netherlands. The list of key works has been compiled by BK-informatie, a trade journal for artists. According to BK Informatie magazine, Het Draaiend Huis is an icon for the northern entrance to Tilburg. The house establishes a relationship between the broken ribbon development and the arrival of this roundabout in the 1950s.
The house also refers to Tilburg as a ‘fairground city’. It was put in place in 2008.